The first in Dom Moraes’ trilogy of autobiographies, My Son’s Father is a
coming of age account of growing up in Bombay and Oxbridge of the 1950s,
by a man who has been called the poet of his generation.
Dom Moraes’childhood in Bombay was as privileged as it was lonely—peopled
by his father’s frequent absences.As he says in the opening lines,‘Missing my
father is my first real memory of him.’ It was also a time of conflicted emotions
and, frequently, terror.As Moraes’ beautiful mother, Beryl, sank gradually
from neurosis to madness, she swung between smothering the young Dom
with love,and subjecting him to a variety of bizarre and sometimes violent
punishments—a relationship that left him deeply scarred for life.
Travelling with his father, the legendary editor, Frank Moraes, opened up
a world of rich experiences for Dom.As editor of The Times of India, the
elder Moraes introduced his young son to a range of famous and fascinating
personalities—from the anthropologistVerrier Elwin and poet Nissim
Ezekiel, to Dom’s hero, the iconic Stephen Spender—the first person to tell
him he was a poet.