I just finished devouring a book in three sittings — including staying up late one night and getting up early one morning. The book is After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story by Michael Hainey. Hainey is the deputy editor of GQ magazine and was born in Chicago. His father was a bright, up-and-coming newspaper man who had worked at both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. But when Hainey was 6, his father died under mysterious circumstances.
Questions surrounding his father’s death haunted Hainey as he was growing up. Finally, over a 10-year span, Hainey put the pieces together — even though he faced conspiratorial opposition from people who knew the truth — and at the risk of hurting surviving family members, including his mother.
The book is a combination detective story/account of how newspapermen (and they were almost always men) lived and worked in the 50s and 60s, and the story of a son looking for his father. It is a page turner that has the added qualities of being tender and moving.
I’m interviewing Hainey next Monday, February 25, and will give you another heads-up to remind you to watch!