My books

Sins of My Father: A Daughter, A Cult, A Wild Unravelling

SINS OF MY FATHER is Lily’s most recent book, a hybrid memoir about her enduring love for a delinquent father, whose pursuit of transcendence took him from sex addiction, via the Rajneesh cult (of Wild Wild Country fame), to a relentless chase of money, which ended in ruin, and finally addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. And yet there was something about him. A light that both exalted and destroyed him.

If his true nature was creative and dreamy, it was crushed by his restrictive upbringing and education. By giving voice to the damaged child, SINS OF MY FATHER speaks for all those who could not have the life they were born to live.

Julia Bell, says: ‘A powerfully moving memoir about what it means to be the daughter of a deeply troubled parent. Lily Dunn combines the biography of her traumatised and self-destructive father, with her own journey towards understanding his capricious and sometimes impossible life. It’s a book about addiction and recovery, loss and love, and the power of legacy.’

Memoirist, Marina Benjamin describes it as: ‘A powerful, necessary, brilliantly brave book. It is superlative; it hums and flies and sings. It is moving and true.’

Shadowing the Sun

SHADOWING THE SUN is a story about the lasting impact of betrayal. We meet Sylvie as an adult on the cusp of settling down, but restless and finding it difficult to commit to fiancé Jack. She is also preparing to meet her father again after years apart, unable to move on from the events of one summer she spent with him in his commune just outside Florence when she was 12 years old. In deft and compelling prose, Lily Dunn tells the parallel stories of Sylvie’s present and past – the anxious week in London waiting for her father, and the summer in Italy that started so promisingly, but ended with such betrayal and loss of innocence.

‘A funny, harrowing and ultimately heartbreaking glimpse into the tribes of a lost continent: the children of the Seventies ‘Me’ generation, with their inheritance of wild freedom and poisonous neglect. I both laughed and cried. Seen through the cut-glass mosaic of Lily’s sharp perceptive talent, the book becomes something new: not just a recollection but a gift, to the past and to us. Full of a hard won, lonely kind of gratitude.’ Tim Guest, author of My Life in Orange.

‘A heart-rending account of a young girl’s loss of innocence… told in limpid prose, seeped in the prickly heat of a Tuscan summer.’ Time Out.

‘The sins of the father are mercilessly explored in Lily Dunn’s impressive and confident first novel.’ The Sunday Times.