Skip to Main Content

Self Abuse

Love, Loss and Fatherhood

From the age of three Jonathan Self had only one ambition: not to be like his father. Despite his determination to be a better man -- and a better parent than his own had been -- Jonathan was a twice-divorced father of three and, at age thirty-five, spiraling. Self Abuse is the story of Jonathan's efforts to break free from the cycle of despair and dysfunction that characterized his youth. A brilliantly rendered, unapologetic memoir about the pain and joy of parenthood, Jonathan's story is as heartbreaking, redemptive, and unforgettable as it is true.

Jonathan Self acts as a Special Adviser to the World Land Trust, an environmental charity. He divides his time between Australia and the United States. This is his first book.

"This life is funny, appalling, and dark."
-- Stephen Blanchard, Time Out (London)

"An honest heartbreaker of a book that should be compulsory reading for anyone who brings a child into the world."
-- Tony Parsons

"Jonathan Self's compulsive, beautifully written memoir [is] all the more powerful for its sparse, bleak honesty...once you start reading you cannot stop."
-- The London Times

"...violently funny. A treat for those who think their folks were a handful."
-- Bruce Jay Friedman, author of Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos

"A harrowing, hilarious, headlong book. Mr. Self writes at all times as if he were launching himself off a cliff. By ruthlessly exposing his own failings he paints a wrenching and unforgettable picture of the terrible predicaments all modern fathers face."
-- Tony Hendra, author of Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul