Parents get a pretty bad run in memoirs in what Gert calls the My Horrible Father genre. (That includes horrible mothers, of course).
Is it time for parents to fight back with the My Disappointing Child genre? Frankenstein is the first one that springs to mind.
What a book that all-time good guy Marcus Aurelius could have written about his son Commodus, the inventor of the sport of bashing disabled people to death in the arena.
Raskolnikov’s mum and dad. Just about anybody in Chekhov. Mr Bennet of Pride and Prejudice could have written a series, as could King Lear. Shakespeare’s history plays alternate between the My Horrible Father and the My Disappointing Child genres – but that’s pretty standard for royal families. Dare we suggest HM Betty Windsor has a book in her? What a publishing sensation that would be.
Other suggestions for this neglected genre?
Image: Wikimedia Commons Der Verlorene Sohn (Max Slevogt)