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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472274489

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 7th April 2022

Genre: Health & Personal Development

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‘Completely original, raw and warm’ Evening Standard Books of the Summer
‘Poignant… written with intelligence and tears’ Ben Okri
‘Nuanced, absorbing and moving… extraordinary’ Observer
‘Raw, poetic, beautifully formed’ Daisy Johnson

When Xanthi Barker’s father died when she was in her mid twenties, she could make no sense of her grief for a man who had been absent for most of her life. Her father, poet Sebastian Barker, had left Xanthi, her mother and her brother to pursue writing and a new relationship, when Xanthi was a baby. Growing up she had always struggled to reconcile his extravagant affection – a rocking horse crafted from scavenged wood, the endless stream of poems and drawings and letters, conversations that spiralled from the structure of starlight to philosophy to Bruce Springsteen – with the fact that he could not be depended upon for more everyday things. Though theirs was a relationship defined by departures, he always returned, so why should this farewell be any different, or more final?

WILL THIS HOUSE LAST FOREVER? is a heartfelt and wholly original memoir about the pain of having to come to terms with a parent’s mortality, the way grief so utterly defies logic, and about learning to see the flaws in those that we love, and let them go.


I loved this delicate and engaging story of love and grief so much that it made me wish I was still a bookseller so I could press it into the hands of all my customers... It's so honest and beautifully written
Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE
Barker's attempt to triangulate a void is haunting. Yet even from the depths her memories glow with life, the writing gleams with precision
Rhik Samadder, author of I NEVER SAID I LOVED YOU
The story of a relationship defined by departures... arresting and beautifully written
The Bookseller (Editor's Choice, June)
Conveys brilliantly the maddening experience of loving someone who is absent when present and present when absent... I was drawn in by her intense prose. A great new talent
Jill Hopper, author of THE MAHOGANY POD
This book counts the true cost of having a writer in the family. Meticulously, Xanthi Barker traces the fault lines of her fractured relationship with her father back through his own marriage, all the way to her grandparents' union: the original, generative source of their poetry and pain. This is a fearless debut: potent and intensely moving
Tabitha Lasley, author of SEA STATE
Wonderful - an elegy of sorts, yet wholly fresh and unsentimental
Sarah Baume
'Nuanced, moving and absorbing... open, youthful and uncensored... extraordinary
Beautifully explores Barker's relationship with her father... and the experience of losing an 'eccentric, charismatic' man
It felt such a privilege to read this book. Raw, devastating, beautifully formed. Let's keep our eye on Barker
Daisy Johnson
Heartbreaking... beautifully written
The Times
A radiant book. I missed Xanthi Barker's wise, perceptive voice the moment I finished it. Vivid, evocative and addictive, without losing any of its meditative grace
Francesca Reece, author of VOYEUR
As well as offering a powerful evocation of loss, it is also wonderfully funny, brilliantly astute in its observation of everyday life, and beautifully written
[An] eloquent, moving memoir
An extraordinary book, searingly personal, and unflinching in the way it deals with tricky emotional terrain.... Truly one to treasure