Michael Hainey, the oft suited, always stylish deputy editor of GQ
magazine, makes it his
business to seek out the best pieces of journalism available. But Hainey is a superb storyteller
in his own right, and his recently released memoir, After Visiting Friends
, is overriding
evidence of this. Hainey grew up in Chicago, where the foundation of his family changed
forever with the mysterious death of his father, one of the Second City’s most respected newspapermen, in 1970, when Hainey was just six.
His decision decades later to pursue what transpired that night—a truth buried under years of
loyalties, denial and dead ends—makes for one heck of a story. Rock-solid reporting mixed
with heartfelt vignettes, lovely imagery (Hainey is a published poet) and a certain fairness,
grit and honesty toward anything and everyone involved make After Visiting Friends one
of the best books we’ve read in recent memory. In fact, we’d like to say we spent a lot of
time with it, but we finished its nearly 300 pages in less than a day.
Buy your own copy of the book here