March 2013 Indie Next List
“Hainey's search for the truth about his father's early death is one of the most compelling memoirs I've read. An insider's tribute to the hard-working and hard-drinking big city newsmen of the 1950s and '60s, After Visiting Friends is also an unsentimental love song to a Chicago of all-night bars, jazz clubs, and three major daily newspapers. I was engaged, moved, and kept guessing (as Hainey was for more than 10 years) until the truth won out. A brave, intimate, and honest portrait of a family and its secrets.”
— Linda Bubon, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL
This haunting story of a son's quest to understand the mystery of his father's death is "searing and unforgettable...memoir writing at its best" (San Francisco Chronicle
)--a "powerfully affecting" (O, The Oprah Magazine
) portrait of a family and its legacy of secrets.
"Family? Secrets? Sometimes I think they are the same thing." So writes Michael Hainey in this unforgettable story of a son's search to discover the decades-old truth about his father's mysterious death. Hainey was a boy of six when his father, a bright and shining star in the glamorous, hard-living world of 1960s Chicago newspapers, died under mysterious circumstances. His tragic absence left behind not only a young widow and two small sons but questions about family and truth that would obsess Michael for decades.
Years later, Michael undertakes a risky journey to uncover the true story about what happened to his father. Prodding reluctant relatives and working through a network of his father's old colleagues, Michael begins to reconcile the father he lost with the one he comes to know. At the heart of his quest is his mother, a woman of courage and tenacity--and a steely determination to press on with her life. A universal story of love and loss and the resilience of family in the face of hardship, After Visiting Friends
is the account of a son who goes searching for his father, and in the journey discovers new love and admiration for his mother.