Publication Date: Sep 2023
RRP: $32.99
ISBN: 9781922979186
Format: Paperback
Size: 153mm x 234mm
Pages: 288
Category: Australian History, Biography

My Father’s Shadow

A Memoir

Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo

Also available as an ebook from your favourite retailer.

‘It’s one thing to have a complicated relationship growing up with a tough demanding father who is also a political legend. It’s quite another thing, writes Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo in this moving memoir, to sit at his deathbed and refuse his final demand.’
Anne Summers AO

Listen to Sandra discuss My Father’s Shadow with Phillip Adams on ABC RN Late Night Live.

My father, political activist Samuel Mark Goldbloom, was my hero and my nemesis all the days of his life.

Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo grew up in thrall to her father, a prominent antiwar activist, brilliant political organiser and covert member of the Communist Party. She adopted his beliefs from an early age, becoming a supporter of the Soviet Union and a peace campaigner. She travelled with him, meeting figures such as Indonesian president Sukarno, and greeted Paul Robeson and North Korean delegates with him at home.

But Sam could be withholding and difficult. He had a sharp backhand and was not always a faithful husband. When Sandra entered adulthood and began to navigate a patriarchal world of work and relationships, she came to question aspects of her father’s worldview. As the communist ideals of the Left were tested and faltered over the Soviet Union, the mood of the times gradually shifted to embrace the counterculture. Sandra, living and working amid the swirl of Melbourne’s arts and political scenes, absorbed ideas about women, family and Jewish culture that often led to tense conversations with her father.

When Sam falls sick and hopes to end his suffering, his daughter’s devotion undergoes a final test.

My Father’s Shadow is a portrait of life on the Left during a time of great social change. Lyrical, sharply observed and affecting, it is a candid exploration of the fraught dynamics between father and daughter – and, ultimately, the love that underlies them.

Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo

Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo is the author of the novel The Book of Rachel (Allen & Unwin), which was also translated into German. Several of her short stories and poems have been published in literary magazines, including Griffith Review and Westerly....
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