The Mistress's Daughter | Granta Books

  • Published: 02/06/2008
  • ISBN: 9781847080110
  • 129x20mm
  • 260 pages

The Mistress’s Daughter

A.M. Homes

On the day that A. M. Homes was born in 1961, she was given up for adoption. Her birth parents were a twenty-two year old woman and an older married man with whom she was having an affair. Thirty years later, out of the blue, Homes was contacted by a lawyer on behalf of her birth mother, and they began to correspond; her biological father contacted her soon after. These two individuals and their effect on the adult Homes are strange and unexpected, and the story spirals into something utterly raw and hilarious, heartbreaking and absurd. Along the way, Homes describes the clash between her childhood fantasies of her birth parents and the disappointing reality. She writes about the experience of experiencing biological resemblance for the first time (in ‘My Father’s Ass’) and the addictiveness of the genealogical research she embarks on. She reflects on the significance of DNA testing and having two mothers and two fathers and unearths profound truths about her family and herself. Finally, she writes movingly about her own baby daughter and the way she has recently helped to mend Homes’ fractured life.

A compelling, devastating and furiously good book written with an honesty that few of us would risk

Zadie Smith

Veracious words on the complexity and ambiguity of the fractured life of an adopted child. Celebratory and shattering, it will leave you asking yourself, adopted or not, who am I?

Jamie Lee Curtis

The Author

A. M. Homes is the author of the novels,This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers and Jack, and three collections of short stories, Days of Awe, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects and the highly acclaimed memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter, as well as the travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and the Castle on the Hill. She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes frequently on arts and culture for numerous magazines and newspapers. She lives in New York City.

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From the Same Author

A.M. Homes on Granta.com

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Days of Awe

A.M. Homes

Read the title story from AM Homes' dazzling new collection of short stories, Days of Awe, available now from Granta Books.

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The File: Lost Then Found

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‘Even for those of us who feel we have integrated our history, there can be fragments, like shrapnel, that push to the surface without warning.’

Art & Photography | Granta 137

To Live and Die in South Korea

Françoise Huguier & A.M. Homes

‘Blow the candle out, taste the darkness and come back changed.’