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The Lost Father

About the Book

The Lost Father

In The Lost Father Mona Simpson again takes up the story of Ann August, who has begun calling herself Mayan, the name her Egyptian father gave her. Now age twenty-eight and a medical student in New York City, Mayan gives in to her lifelong desire to find her father, feeling that her life can't continue meaningfully until she arrives at some understanding of why her father left and never bothered to make any contact with her. Mayan knows that her father is probably not worth finding, but this knowledge somehow doesn't matter. In the course of what becomes a grueling odyssey toward a long imagined reunion, she hires a detective, spends all of her savings, drops out of medical school, stops eating, and nearly loses her mind. The last time she saw her father she was only twelve; he called out to her as they drove away, "Don't forget I am your father. Nobody else can ever be that." [p. 138] But it's possible to be a father and yet not be one. And like Dorothy on the road to Oz, Mayan doesn't know yet that the authority she seeks in her lost father can only be found within herself.

In a beautifully rendered novel that examines the consequences of abandoning children as well as the psychology of obsession and female dependency, Mona Simpson has created a heroine who is wry, self-deprecating and intelligent--whose troubles are utterly absorbing, whose journey becomes our journey.

The Lost Father
by Mona Simpson

  • Publication Date: January 11, 1993
  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 0679733035
  • ISBN-13: 9780679733034