An intimate and moving account of the search for origins and identity by respected author, broadcaster, essayist and translator Robert Dessaix
Adopted as a baby towards the end of World War II, Robert Dessaix grew up haunted by ‘a shaft of silence’ surrounding the question of his natural mother’s identity, and of his identity and sexuality. In this touching memoir, he recounts the story of a most unusual childhood on Sydney’s North Shore; of his fascination with Russia and his years spent studying in Cold War Moscow; and of his restless wanderings around the world.
Frank and compelling, this ‘tale without an ending’ is a story of coming to terms with a history previously unknown, and with it the acceptance of a new identity.
‘A journey of identity by a virtuoso in language and master of narrative control … a brave, moving, funny, enthralling book – all the way’ The Canberra Times
‘One of the most intelligently moving autobiographical narratives I have ever read. A book that is fascinating, engrossing … And a book that invites challenge’ The Age
Robert Dessaix is a writer, translator, broadcaster and occasional essayist. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.
His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother's Disgrace; the novels Night Letters and Corfu; a collection of essays and short stories (And So Forth); and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love and Arabesques. In 2012 he published the collection of pieces, As I Was Saying. His most recent book is What Days Are For (November, 2014). A full-time writer since 1995, Robert Dessaix lives in Hobart, Tasmania.