Details
MARINA WARNER (b.1946)
The Lost Father. London: Chatto & Windus, 1988.
'I still don't know if my grandfather fought a duel, as the family still maintains, & died years later of complications caused by the bullet lodging in his body...': first edition, annotated with 1,285 words on 36 pages. Warner's Booker-shortlisted novel narrates the story of Davide Pittagora through the eyes of his sister, his daughter and his granddaughter: constructed as an imaginary memoir, it follows the family as they emigrate from southern Italy to New York and back, hinging its stories on the family legend of Davide's death in a duel. Warner's extensive annotations to the text and to the endpaper maps are supplemented by six pasted photocopies of family photographs; a few annotations are initially in pencil, overwritten in ink. The annotations trace the origins of people, places and literary influences in the book, record meetings with Czeslaw Milosz and Leonara Carrington, and reflect on the composition and structure of the novel ('I think a Table of Contents might have been a good idea ... I think these switches of time zones & styles are hard on the reader!') as well as its overarching intention 'to show the inconsistencies & multiplicities of an individual consciousness and of the past as it lives on in the memories of those involved through family or other links'.

Octavo. Original red cloth boards, spine lettered in gilt, pictorial dust jacket.


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