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In the Early Times by Tad Friend
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May 10, 2022 | ISBN 9780593587911 | 382 Minutes

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  • May 10, 2022 | ISBN 9780593137352

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Praise

“Brave candor and masterful storytelling give this memoir the crafted architecture of a precisely plotted novel. Tad Friend portrays his father’s contradictory life concurrently with his own developing story—a dazzling account of the author’s endeavor to love, but not to imitate, his father.”—John Irving

“How often does a memoir build to a stomach-churning, I-can’t-breathe climax in its final pages? Virtually never. But the structure of In the Early Times has a hard twist at its center. Tad Friend does a courageous deep dive on his father, on his own upbringing, and on his family, full of deft and rueful detail. But Friend’s father is a complex, heavily defended character who slowly becomes terrifyingly familiar. For the son, the floor falls away. You see it coming, but there’s nowhere to hide. This is a brilliant, intensely moving work.”—William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Barbarian Days

In the Early Times, both a memoir about inherited defenses and a moving intercession to break those defenses down, carries the raw gleam of an intimate confession and the formidable precision of a diagnostic image. Tad Friend’s writing is funny, lustrous, tuned tight, as he excavates great wells of hope and disappointment; this book is spiked with irony and self-indictment, and warmed by Friend’s will to love and see and repair.”—Jia Tolentino, New York Times bestselling author of Trick Mirror
 
“A good memoir holds your attention. A great memoir grabs it by the collar, spins it around a few times, then sets it down in a completely different spot. In working through the volcanic revelations of his father’s journals, his own past, and some gristly midlife upheavals, Tad Friend has crafted a great memoir. In the Early Times is brave, perceptive, moving, and, above all, superbly written.”—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Fuzz
 
“In this exquisitely written and extraordinary memoir, Tad Friend sets out to unravel a family mystery, only to find himself immersed in much deeper ones, grappling with the lies we tell one another and ourselves, with the meaning of being a father and a son and a husband, and with the very nature of love and loss. The resulting book is both beautiful and unforgettable.”—David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon

“A luminous narrative of love, transgression, and forgiveness, and of the ties that bind despite chafing.”—Publishers Weekly

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