LaserWriter II
Red Milk
Books

The Death of My Father the Pope

9780374722708 fc
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2021
Releases 12/07/21

A man mourning his alcoholic father faces a paradox: to pay tribute, lay scorn upon, or pour a drink. A wrenching, dazzling, revelatory debut

Weaving between the preparations for his father's funeral and memories of life on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border, Obed Silva chronicles his father's lifelong battle with alcoholism and the havoc it wreaked on his family. Silva and his mother had come north across the border to escape his father’s violent, drunken rages. His father had followed and danced dangerously in and out of the family’s life until he was arrested and deported back to Mexico, where he drank himself to death, one Carta Blanca at a time, at the age of forty-eight.

Told with a wry cynicism, a profane, profound anger, an antic, brutally honest voice, and a hard-won classical frame of reference, Silva channels the heartbreak of mourning while wrestling with the resentment and frustration caused by addiction. The Death of My Father the Pope is a fluid and dynamic combination of memoir and an examination of the power of language—and the introduction of a unique and powerful literary voice.

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  • "Obed Silva's memoir is a magnificent and poignant achievement. Like the great literary giants he weaves throughout this narrative, we are brought to a rich and luminous excavation of the father wound, of the contours of death and the sure triumph of love. The Death of My Father the Pope is deeply affecting and a singular accomplishment. 'Impressionante!...Punto!'"

    ―Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries

  • “Obed's journey is high art of the transformative nature ― that is, he descends into the bowels of familia, soars into the hearts and souls of father and brother and friends, drifts in and out of the city of Chihuahua, all the while revealing and lifting the veil of our discontents and connections to those we love and to those things that make and define our lives. An eloquent rendering of our times, told in a way that delivers in clear, precise thoughtfulness of la frontera and what it is to be mestizo, what it is to be Chicano, Mexican, trouble and peaceful, courageous, resentful, underscoring it all with what it means to be truly human. Everyone should read this memoir!”

    ―Jimmy Baca, author of A Place to Stand

  • "A searing and unforgettable work of art. The Death of My Father the Pope is a landmark in the history of Latinx literature in the United States. This is the book we’ve been waiting for."

    Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark