Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trailer Park Tuesday: My Father Before Me by Chris Forhan

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

In 1973, when Chris Forhan was 14, his father went into the carport of the family’s home, ran a garden hose from the exhaust pipe of his car to the driver’s window, and lay down across the front seat. His wife found his body the next morning. Decades later, when Chris was his father’s age, he wanted to know why, without a word of warning, Ed Forhan chose to abandon his wife and eight children. “I wanted to know, who was this guy?” the author tells us in this short, powerful trailer for his memoir My Father Before Me. “He didn’t talk about his family with us or my mother—she knew just knew vague outlines. So it was first of all a detective story for me. I wanted to know as much as I could about him.” And so, as the publisher’s jacket copy tells us, Chris Forhan went about “digging into his family’s past and finding within each generation the same abandonment, loss, and silence in which he was raised. Like Ian Frazier in Family or Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes, Forhan shows his family members as both a part and a product of their time.” As I mentioned, the book trailer, with a shifting collage of family photos, is emotionally-moving and authentic in the way Forhan narrates the story of how he came to write the book. “I know (my father) in a way now, having imagined myself into his life,” Forhan says. “I have a kind of sympathy for him...I felt I brought him back to life in writing about him.”

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