Full fathom five, Kevin Ireland

My Father’s Island: A Memoir
Adam Dudding
Victoria University Press, $35.00
ISBN 9781776560820

When Edmund Gosse pioneered a new category of personal, interrogating biography, with Father and Son (1907), he framed painful questions and set down intimate dilemmas that won praise for frankness and criticism for making family tensions so public. It is one of the hazards faced by all biographers and memoirists in the Gosse tradition, when they write forthrightly about themselves and their parents: how far is their version a true and fair documentary record, and how much is it a personal and therefore possibly intrusive or distorted interpretation?

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