Across a Wasteland
The Urchin’s Progress is an everyman epic chronicling the changing fortunes of Miles Rouse over 50 years as he travels from fatherless urchin to fulfilled father. In three volumes, it traces a life haunted by both the father’s absence and the urchin abandoned by that same father.
Across a Wasteland (Volume 1)(August 1950 – July 1977), set across the changing sociological landscape of Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, tracks the flight of Miles from his stricken childhood and his search for the truth of his father’s disappearance.
As he attempts to escape the haunting – whether by way of crazy relationships or the ambitious Studs Terkel-like collection of interviews and essays he’s engaged on, titled Torture Road – Miles discovers the urchin he believed he’d left behind is ever undermining the present and pulling him back to desolation.
It is a sweeping and humorous story of growing up without a father, echoing all the pain and confusions common to those surviving the debris of the nuclear family and which all too often can lead to the therapist’s chair.
Published: 11 May 2015
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