A son's story of living in his father's shadow of genius tainted by depression
Harry Abley was a nightmare of a father: depressive, self-absorbed, unpredictable, emotionally unstable. He was also a dream of a father: gentle, courageous, artistically gifted. Mark Abley, his only child, grew up in the shadow of music and mental illness. How he came to terms with this divided legacy, and how he learned to be a man in the absence of a traditional masculine role model, are central to this beautifully written memoir. This extraordinary story will speak to all those who love music, who struggle with depression, or who wrestle with the difficult bonds of love between a parent and a child.
"The Organist’s intimate scale and unstinting, probing honesty give it what should prove to be…lasting appeal." ~Maclean’s
"[A] remarkably transparent record of a writer’s lifelong efforts to understand and love his male parent." ~Literary Review of Canada
"A fascinating and often beautiful portrait of the fragile psyche of a talented musician." ~BBC Music Magazine
"A keenly observed, often elegant accounting of the transformative power of art and the limits of knowing others, even—or perhaps especially—those we feel we should know best." ~Toronto Star
"[A] master class in the delicate art of writing about family." ~Montreal Gazette