As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell's sense of self was dominated by his father's absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son.
Starting with his own childhood in the Sussex beachlands, Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still, he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him.
Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realises he is a boy, and a son.
Most of all, this is a story about love - its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are.
Deeply thoughtful, searingly honest and exquisitely lyrical, Fathers and Sons is an exploration of fatherhood, masculinity, authenticity and family.
Written by Howard Cunnell
Read by James Lailey
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.