Author(s): Allegra Huston
When Allegra Huston was four years old, her mother was killed in a car crash. Soon afterwards, she was introduced to an intimidating man wreathed in cigar smoke - the legendary film director John Huston - with the words, 'This is your father'. So began an extraordinary odyssey: from the magical Huston estate in Ireland, to the Long Island suburbs, to a hidden paradise in Mexico - and, at the side of her older sister, Anjelica, into the hilltop retreats of Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, and Marlon Brando. Allegra's is the penetrating gaze of an outsider never quite sure if she belongs in this rarefied world, and of a motherless child trying to make sense of her famous, fragmented family. Then, at the age of twelve, Allegra's precarious sense of self is shattered when she is, once more, introduced to her father - her real one, this time, the British aristocrat and historian John Julius Norwich. At the heart of "Love Child" is Allegra's search through the unreliable certainties of memory for the widely adored mother she never knew - the ghost who shadowed her childhood and left her in a web of awkward and unwelcome truths.
An inside view of a legendary Hollywood family and a wonderful depiction of an eccentric Anglo-Irish early childhood For fans of Cold Cream by Ferdinand Mount, Bad Blood by Lorna Sage and When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison An extraordinarily tender and moving mother-daughter story
Shortlisted for Biographers' Club Prize for Best First Biography 2009.
'This extraordinary book reveals the all but unendurable sorrow of loss, and the difficulties of those unwilling to live in a world without love. Because Huston's concerns are with what she has seen and learned, rather than with alienation and the affixing of blame, her memoir glimmers with triumphant wisdom' Susanna Moore 'A fascinating and profoundly moving exploration of family secrets. Poignant, inspiring and beautifully written, an intriguing first-hand account of growing up inside a world the rest of us can only read about' Joanna Briscoe 'A touching glimpse of the pain and longing felt by a child who doesn't quite belong to anyone, this unsentimental journey through the star-studded vacuum of her various families is unexpectedly tender and forgiving. She writes with an artist's eye for detail, with the clear gaze of a small outsider, searching forever for love' Joanna Lumley
ALLEGRA HUSTON was born in London and raised in Ireland, Long Island and Los Angeles. She worked in publishing for Chatto & Windus and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, where she was editorial director, and then as a writer, her work appearing in various publications, including The Times, the Independent, Tatler, and Harper's Bazaar as well as French Vogue. She now lives in Taos, New Mexico.