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Author Michael Hainey Searches For His Father's Story

Breaking the Code of Silence

Feb. 17, 2014
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Author Michael Hainey
For anyone who has ever hoped to uncover a long-buried family secret, Michael Hainey’s captivating memoir After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story will surely speak to you. Michael was only 6 years old in 1970 when his father, an assistant copy desk chief at a Chicago newspaper, passed away of an apparent heart attack, alone on the street “after visiting friends,” as the obituary stated, but Michael always struggled with the tragic mystery and the accompanying veil of silence surrounding his father’s untimely death.

As an adult newspaperman himself, Hainey sets out to unravel the true story of what happened to his father on that fateful night. He must balance his mother’s ever-present silence against his own unrelenting need for the truth as he interviews everyone who knew his father during the time of his death, including his mother, who he has to forcibly pry information from in order to learn any details. Written like a detective story, this riveting tale is fast paced and foreboding, filled with intensity and mystery as Hainey hunts for the truth of what happened so long ago and attempts to crack the code of silence surrounding his father’s death. The stream-of-consciousness writing style and rapid-fire narrative make this a non-fiction favorite.

Hainey is deputy editor at GQ magazine. After Visiting Friends, a New York Times bestseller, is Hainey’s first book. He will discuss it at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.


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