Anthony Cummins

Father Afield

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As an account of fatherhood, David Nicholls’s new novel probably won’t receive the critical plaudits lavished upon Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, in which the Norwegian author chronicles, among other things, his attempts to write a masterpiece while knee-deep in nappies. Yet the experience of Nicholls’s protagonist, Douglas Petersen, is surely more common: leaving the house early to catch the train to work, returning late and frazzled to pitch in at home as best you can, sensing that your child is growing up without you.

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