The Organist

The Organist

Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind

The Regina Collection

by Mark Abley

Published by: University of Regina Press

312 pages

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780889775817
  • Published: January 2019


  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780889777613
  • Published: June 2020



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.