Nobody's Son (Paperback)

A Memoir

By Mark Slouka

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393354751, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (10/28/2016)
Hardcover (10/18/2016)

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

November 2016 Indie Next List

“This is a grueling, soul-searching study of memory and personal pain written in the most soaring prose. To some extent, most of us think we came from dysfunctional families, but this memoir is going to become the calibration standard for dysfunction. How Slouka survived his parents and their scarred Czech pasts, their humiliating years as refugees, and their years of unhappy marriage in America is a small miracle. What's left are some large emotional holes that Slouka attempts to patch up in front of the reader. An absolutely mesmerizing read.”
— Darwin Ellis (W), Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
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Born in Czechoslovakia, Mark Slouka's parents survived the Nazis only to have to escape the Communist purges after the war. Smuggled out of their own country, the newlyweds joined a tide of refugees moving from Innsbruck to Sydney to New York, dragging with them a history of blood and betrayal that their son would be born into.

From World War I to the present, Slouka pieces together a remarkable story of refugees and war, displacement and denial--admitting into evidence memories, dreams, stories, the lies we inherit, and the lies we tell--in an attempt to reach his mother, the enigmatic figure at the center of the labyrinth. Her story, the revelation of her life-long burden and the forty-year love affair that might have saved her, shows the way out of the maze.