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A Puzzle Of His Life (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
The book traces the difficult relationship between Parker and his son Chris, and the years of warfare between father and son combatants; the boy determined to do life his – troubled – way, the father determined that tough love would prevail. Parker and his son had a difficult relationship, starting when Parker’s ex-wife, with whom teenaged Chris was then living, demanded that his father take over. He accepted the boy into his home and informed his drug-using son that he would have to clean up his act. The years that followed were often turbulent: a rebellious teen and a rigid father in play. In time, though, Chris became devoted to his music and a new-found love of sketching. He graduated from high school with a B- average and enrolled at the University of Montana.
Through this experience and his writing, Parker resolved not only his grief, but also came to know himself in a way that had been impossible previously. The words that filled his pages he describes as literally erupting from below the “tunnel of his mind … the heart of inner writing emerg[ing] to the surface.” Perhaps his strokes changed some neural patterns in his brain, a source of spoken words separate from that of written ones. Who knows, he says, he simply accepts. The joy he presents in this book is that of a son growing and becoming, and a father on his own path, growing and becoming as well, merging at last into a peaceful, loving bond of understanding achieved over many years and with many, written, words.
About the Author
Robert P. Parker filled his professional life with words, as a university professor here and abroad. But his words were seemingly stilled by two strokes in his later life, after which he became somewhat aphasic (unable to speak). Happily, the strokes didn’t diminish his ability to put his thoughts and life into words; since then he has written two books and now a third, “A Puzzle of His Life: A Virtual Memoir,” his most personal and for many, the most moving.