Not My Father's Son

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By: Alan Cumming

“Equal parts memoir, whodunnit, and manual for living . . . a beautifully written, honest look at the forces of blood and bone that make us what we are, and how we make ourselves.” —Neil Gaiman

When British television producers approached Alan Cumming to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, he enthusiastically agreed. He hoped to solve a mystery that had long cast a shadow over his family. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared into the Far East after WWI and died under mysterious circumstances.

But this was not the only mystery in Alan’s life. A man he had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade, a brutal, mercurial man who held his family hostage with violence throughout Alan’s childhood—his father, Alex—reconnected just before filming for the show began. He too had a secret to share, knowledge that would shock his son and set into motion a journey that would change Alan’s life forever.

With ribald humor, deep emotion, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times heartbreaking, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father’s Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly overcoming the darkness.