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The Lost Father

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  326 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
In her highly acclaimed first novel, Anywhere But Here, Simpson created one of the most astute yet vulnerable heroines in contemporary fiction. Now Mayan Atassi--once Mayan Stevenson--returns in an immensely powerful novel about love and lovelessness, fathers and fatherlessness, and the loyalties that shape us even when they threaten to destroy us.

Now a woman of twenty-ei
ebook, 524 pages
Published August 10th 2011 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but sad
Apr 15, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
طبق کتاب زندگینامه استیو جابز، این کتاب نوشته خواهر استیو جابز و بر اساس زندگی پدر بیولوژیکی استیو جابز (آقای عبدالفتاح "جان" جندلی) نوشته شده است
Aug 15, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book, but decided to quit reading it about a quarter of the way through, which is something I hate to do. If you are looking for a follow up to Anywhere But Here, don't bother reading this. I stopped reading it because I found it tedious and slow, the plot seemed to be going nowhere, and I was bored by the adult version of Ann/Mayan. Also, several minor details were changed from one book to the next, such as Ann's first name, her hometown, etc. Those things didn't make ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read 20 pages before I gave up. I was hesitant to read this for a long time because I was afraid that it would mirror my own situation and thought that would be a difficult subject to read about.

I shouldn't have worried. The main character is pathetic, as well as her mother, who pines for any man to become a replacement father for her daughter.

I couldn't stand the writing style nor the slow paced storyline. Blech.
Feb 25, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book frustrated me. It's about a woman's quest to find her father but she went on and on ad nauseum and after 250 pages of reading the same things over and over again I gave up. Life is too short....
Alexander Medina
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
this was a reread and there was a lot i didn't remember. i found it disorienting some of the disconnect between the story in this book and the story involving the same characters in anywhere but here. for one, Ann is now Mayan (something not even hinted at in the first book). also, the end of the first book indicates that Ann doesn't have the same struggles with money and success that her mother has, but it's apparent in the lost father that she does indeed have those same struggles. it is a slo ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I did not enjoy this book as much as "My Hollywood" or "Anywhere But Here", I still really really loved reading it and was glad that it was so long and there was so much for me to experience! I think one of the reasons I didn't like the book in a 5-star sense is that there was not an extremely strong and interesting character like Lola or Adele. This is a sequel to "Anywhere But Here", but in that book I was absolutely fascinated by Adele, more so than her daughter Mayan, even though she ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually when a book takes eight months to read, it does not bode well, but The Lost Father becomes worthwhile - eventually. I began The Lost Father in August, hoping to finish it before school started. But instead, I was bogged down in the stilted melodrama of Mona Simpson’s prose. The novel follows Mayan, main character, as she searches for the father she has not since childhood, and of whom no record can be found. Mayan carries her weighty emotional baggage from medical school in New York, to ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The skill with which Mona Simpson writes Mayan's voice is astounding. Use of imagery makes descriptions almost poetic at times, yet no less believable and all the more vivid. The empathy with which Mayan describes the people around her is eye-opening.
The themes in this book are layered intensely: Mayan lets men, from her father to her boyfriends, control her life. She has internalized bucket loads of misogyny and struggles with an eating disorder. Reading her tell her story, I had mixed emotions
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got about half way through this book before Inter Library Loan started screaming at me daily about its over-due status. It is now on the list of books I get to read as a reward when the dissertation is done. I really enjoyed the first half though. It made me realize that often time I read and appreciate books I don't really enjoy reading. I read them because they are "important" for some reason or another. But this one I actually had fun with and sought out moments to get through a chapter.

Elizabeth Sulzby
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Steve Jobs' life.
Shelves: memoir
Note to myself: Discuss why so discursive and whether that was a good choice. (Also how easy it was to forget characters over the length.) Length in the sense of not being a page-turner. Cf. with Game of Thrones series which are this long or longer but page-turners. Not the emotional wrenching for me as her other book which focused on Owens (Jobs).

I had read Off Heck Road and My Hollywood before her brother, Steve Jobs, died and before I knew their relationship. This book illustrates what knowin
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many books on romantic love but Mayan's unrequited love for her father is not covered as much. Everytime I picked up this novel, there was a refreshing insight or memory. I was impressed by Mona Simpson revealing of the many layers of Mayan's life affected by her absent father. The descriptions of Mayan's mother, father, and grandmother were a wonderful portrait of how those close to you have the ability to both hurt you and love you.
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fiction readers, writers
Shelves: fiction
This book is so rich and a wonderful read. I can really relate with the protagonist as a sort of eccentric, but down-to-earth outsider. The premise of the story is simple. She is looking for her father, but the book is intricate and filled with little stories in between. I love it and don't want it to end.
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really disappointing as a follow-up to Anywhere But Here. I was kind of surprised by the glowing reviews on the book after reading it. I didn't feel any empathy for the narrator and considering the relentlessness and single-mindedness of the book's focus, it's necessary.
Prooost Davis
Oct 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Add me to the list of non-finishers. "Anywhere but Here" was so good, and this one was so bad, I started to wonder if she actually wrote both of them. Interestingly, though, when her mother makes brief appearances in this book, things perk up a little.
Betsy G
The writing was beautiful, but I found the character whiney and negative. The story dragged on and I wanted to give the character a whack across the face and say, "Get over it! Move on!" While it was effective at expressing obsession, it was unpleasant to read.
so-so read. I kept reading b/c i just wanted to know what happen! not because i was that engaged by the story. I think my view is colored by my impatient for people in general who can't get their lives together.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: project-2014

A captivating odyssey…first, what are the patterns of existence and experience…second, what's my place among the patterns…finally, what's next? Provocative musings framed as and by beautiful languaging…thoroughly satisfying. What are you waiting for…go find a copy…start reading!

May 05, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
I tried so hard to like this book. I pushed my way through half of it and complained to whoever I was with about what a bad book it was. I did this until I was told that I was being annoying. So I stopped reading it. That was a really good decision.
Della Scott
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I registered a book at!
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-recommeded
It was a bit long winded, could have been shorter. The last third of the book was the best.
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books
3.5 stars. So very, very, long.
Kathleen Crowell
book one is better
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had hooped this sequel would be better than the first one. It was not. Ponderous and depressing to me.....very superficial.
May 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.75. I liked the book, but worry she's just got the one story/theme.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juan Pinilla
Aug 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Much worse than her first book. A very weak and bland second part.
Dec 11, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The much-anticipated sequel to Anywhere but Here...and I hated it! It was a cheesy soap opera, which would have been fine had it not had arty pretensions. Oh well.
Ben Schaffer
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Mona Simpson was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, then moved to Los Angeles as a young teenager. Her father was a recent immigrant from Syria and her mother was the daughter of a mink farmer and the first person in her family to attend college. Simpson went to Berkeley, where she studied poetry. She worked as a journalist before moving to New York to attend Columbia’s MFA program. During graduate sch ...more
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