Author: Claudia Dey
A Must-Read: The New York Times, Elle, Literary Hub, The Millions, The Globe and Mail, and CBC
“[A] darkly glittering tale . . . Beautiful and piercing.” —The New York Times Book Review
In Claudia Dey’s Daughter, a woman long caught in her father’s web strives to make a life—and art—of her own.
To be loved by your father is to be loved by God.
So says Mona Dean—playwright, actress, and daughter of a man famous for one great novel, a man whose needs and insecurities exert an inescapable pull and exact an immeasurable toll on the women of his family: Mona, her sister, her half sister, their mothers. His infidelity destroyed Mona’s childhood, setting her in opposition to a stepmother who, though equally damaged, disdains her for being broken. Then, just as Mona is settling into her life as an adult and a fledgling artist, her father begins a new affair and takes her into his confidence. Mona delights—painfully, parasitically—in this attention. When he inevitably confesses to his wife, Mona is cast as the agent of disruption, punished for her father’s crimes and ejected from the family.
Mona’s tenuous stability is thrown into chaos. Only when she suffers an incalculable loss—one far deeper and more defining than family entanglements—can she begin supplanting absent love with real love. Pushed to the precipice, she must decide how she wants to live, what she most needs to say, and the risks she will take to say it.
Claudia Dey chronicles our most intimate lives with penetrating insight and devilish humor. Daughter is an obsessive, blazing examination of the forces that drive us to become, to create, and to break free.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux