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About the Book

The boundaries of family life are upended in this memoir, which turns on the author’s lifelong relationship with his enthralling yet deeply possessive aunt, a powerhouse Hollywood screenwriter whose turbulent nature slowly reveals itself.

All his life Michael Frank has been fawned over by his aunt, who was a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1970s. She loves him more than life itself. At first, when he is a young boy, this is a very good thing. He takes refuge in her adoration and attention. But soon things turn bad and her hold on the entire family begins to spiral out of control in increasingly unpredictable and volatile ways.

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Critical Praise

“To paraphrase Tolstoy, interesting families are unhappy in mysterious ways, and in this subtle memoir full of hard-won wisdom, Michael Frank gives us an indelible portrait of his own. His imperious, beautiful, infuriating Aunt Hankie, in particular, is one of the great Difficult Women of contemporary literature.” —Judith Thurman

“The Mighty Franks is a tremendously smart and beautiful portrait of one of the most interesting and memorable families I’ve encountered. Crackling with sorrow and wit, Michael Frank has written a gorgeous, moving and intensely compassionate memoir that will stay with me for a long, long time. An astonishing book.” —Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

“Be careful when you start reading The Mighty Franks since you won’t be able to stop. As finely drawn as it is acutely observed-painful, honest, evocative, spare-this portrait of an extraordinary family is a work of art.” —Jean Strouse

“Easy to love and very hard to put down. . . . A terrific portrait of Los Angeles. . . . Moving, wonderfully written, and marvelously drawn, it is filled with characters who love you, hug you, drive you crazy, and sometimes make you cry.” —George Hodgman, author of Bettyville

“This is one complicated family. How do any of us survive our families? The how of The Mighty Franks is beautiful, tender, forgiving, funny, and fiercely honest. Michael Frank’s book will certainly join the canon of classic memoirs. I adored it.” —Maira Kalman

“Frank brings Proustian acuity and razor-sharp prose to family dramas as primal, and eccentrically insular, as they come.” —The Atlantic

“Extraordinary….More than a memoir, this is really a study of human pathology, a book that should be widely read for its insights into families and the process of growing up.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“In thoughtful, fluid prose, [Frank] evokes the magic and sophistication of a vanished Hollywood intelligentsia schooled in the language of cinema. Readers will be enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly

“Probing and radiantly polished.” —New York Times

“A marvelous, clear-eyed memoir. . . . Almost thriller-like. . . . Beautifully written.” —Wall Street Journal

“Acutely perceptive . . . [Frank] performs such an incisively intimate autopsy on his clan’s psyche that the result comes close to being an exorcism,  a perfectly balanced near-gothic blend of the fascinating and the horrifying.” —Buffalo News

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443451994
  • ISBN 10: 1443451991
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 05/16/2017
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 29.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Rich & Famous
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
  • BISAC3: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank

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