Kadian Journal (Paperback)

A Father's Memoir

By Thomas Harding

Picador, 9781250065094, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In July 2012, Thomas Harding’s fourteen-year-old son Kadian was killed in a bicycle accident. Shortly afterwards Thomas began to write. This book is the result.

Beginning on the day of Kadian’s death, and continuing to the one-year anniversary, and beyond, Kadian Journal is a record of grief in its rawest form, and of a mind in shock and questioning a strange new reality. Interspersed within the journal are fragments of memory: jewel-bright everyday moments that slowly combine to form a biography of a lost son, and a lost life.

Kadian Journal is a document of startling bravery and candour—a description of a family dislocated and united by tragedy, and a beautiful and moving tribute to a son.

About the Author

THOMAS HARDING is an author and journalist who has written for the Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian, among other publications. He is the author of The House by the Lake (which was a shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Biography Award) and the #1 international bestselling book Hanns and Rudolf (which won the 2015 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize, was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Biography Award, and has been translated into many languages). He lives in Hampshire, England.

Praise For Kadian Journal: A Father's Memoir

"This is a fine, brave book, a tough-minded, tender-hearted evocation of a beautiful boy, his all-too-short life and the impact of his death on a loving family. Harding has done his boy proud and turned nightmare into art.”—Doron Weber, The Washington Post

“What sets Kadian Journal apart from some other writing about grief is Harding's courage, keeping what he writes true to the experience he describes. He does not numb his pain or minimize embarrassment about the blind alleys he follows in trying to reassemble his life. The reader is right there, on the scene, however bitter or tender or gentle it may be, as if Harding is extending a guiding hand, one he could never again offer his lost child.”—The Buffalo News

"Both eloquent and heart-rending, Harding's book is not only a grieving father's testament of love to his dead son. It is also a reminder of the fragility of life and human relationships. An emotionally raw and uncompromising memoir.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A fitting tribute to the resilience of the family… In alternating chapters of past and present, the grieving father draws in the reader with revealing views of his marriage, parenting, his two children, and the tough mourning process during Kadian’s funeral. Harding and his wife, Deb, share their secret moments, the overwhelming sadness, and the guilt, all rendered with a fresh boldness and candor…. Harding’s sensitive, intimate account eschews sentimental half-truths and sensational details for a purer, healing love that lifts his family above sadness and pain to become ‘free from the shackles of grief.’”—Publishers Weekly

"Heartbreaking...Profoundly moving...A tender tribute.”—The Daily Mail (London)

"Harding's remarkable memoir is written with transparent emotional intelligence. It makes one understand how it was for a father to lose a boy unique in his eyes and loved by everyone who knew him: Kadian."—The Observer (London)

"Heartbreaking...For a man in such raw, intense pain, Harding writes with incredible precision....Kadian Harding’s fourteen years shine brilliantly from its pages....Thomas Harding has been generous in sharing his boy with me, and I am grateful he found words.”—The Daily Telegraph (London)

"This book is raw and heartbreaking but it is never intrusive or gratuitous. The writing is real and spare, the love so very deep that the reader can scarcely look away....A beautiful tribute.”—Sunday Express (London)