Ann Barr

A Paranormal Patriach

Swimming with My Father


Faber & Faber 208pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

I wanted to read this book not only because the author has written two good biographies, Livingstone and Baden-Powell, but also because of the sunny, splashy cover picture showing father and small son in one-piece bathing suits. It starts, ‘My father loved to swim in rivers, and in 1949, when I turned four and he forty-three, he started taking me with him. Sounds like the beginning of a joyous and free book. But it’s actually a fairly painful one. The characters are captive – bound by duty, and also love.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the best aspects of Kaufmann’s book is its optimism' Here's @BurlM11's review of @epkaufm's Whiteshift. ,
    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,