My Father's Compass

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My Father's Compass

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Howard Goldenberg
Hybrid Publishers
(revised edition with Epilogue)

My Father's Compass is a poignant, moving, and at times hilarious memoir celebrating the long life of Howard's father Myer Goldenberg.

Myer is remembered in Leeton for his medical services as well as his other roles as olive industry pioneer, sailor and religious Jew. He lived with his family in Leeton from 1941 to 1955 and was a beloved family doctor.

The author's return to Leeton is not merely for a book launch, but a return to the people and places that were important to the Goldenberg family as outlined in the pages of the book.

Through the pages of this beautifully written debut, Goldenberg records and honours the deep faith, strength and vitality of his father. He gives the reader a glimpse into an almost idyllic childhood in Leeton from which he is abruptly removed and never quite recovers.

From the naughty escapades of little boys to a tragic drowning, from the joys of sailing to the heartache of helping aging parents, Goldenberg takes the reader on a journey through his childhood in Leeton to Melbourne, Victoria and later into the further reaches of the outback.

Goldenberg Senior moves from being a small town's doctor, deliverer of babies and head of the sole Jewish family, to a city with a large Jewish population where he performs thousands of ritual circumcisions.

Author Helen Garner describes My Father's Compass as, "Honest, funny, painful, shining with respect and love: a man's tribute to the severe beauty of his father's character."

Through his magical story-telling, the reader is taken back to the child inside the grown-up Goldenberg who sees the world as an exciting, frustrating and often scary place.

Writer Martin Flanagan says, "Howard Goldenberg writes with verve and humour. He also writes with deep compassion. It is this unusual marriage of qualities which makes him a rare and valuable witness to our times."

Paul Jennings writes, "Howard Goldenberg is a fine wordsmith and a wonderful storyteller. He explores his father's life with great compassion and honesty. His compass has served him well both as a doctor and a writer."

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