The Far Side of the Moon

The Far Side of the Moon

Trials of My Father

Summary

As one of our leading campaigners for justice, human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith has spent a lifetime getting to know his clients - from detainees in Guantánamo Bay to prisoners facing execution on Death Row - and finding out, in his own words, 'what makes them tick'.

But for much of his life, closer to home, there was a man whose mind remained off limits: his own father. It was only years after Dick's death, when Clive inherited more than 3,000 of his letters, that he could finally take a breath and start to piece together the obsessive personality behind them.

In The Far Side of the Moon, Stafford Smith seeks the broad conversation about mental illness that was not accessible in his earlier years, reflecting on his father's fragmented life together with that of Larry Lonchar, a client who also struggled with severe depression, and whose fate continues to preoccupy him.

Following the critically acclaimed Injustice, this courageous new book is an indictment of the failures in our social and justice systems, a meditation on privilege and its consequences, and an intimate exploration of how the mind's hinterlands can impact a family and shape a life.

Reviews

  • [A] vivid, inquiring memoir... In unpicking this history within himself, in what is a properly soul-searching book, Stafford Smith finds useful ways to ask the hardest of questions about crime and punishment
    Tim Adams, Observer

About the author

Clive Stafford Smith

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