Does your interpretation of Neruda’s relationship with his father minimize or exaggerate his father’s insensitivity and brutishness?
This was one of the most difficult challenges of this book - to portray the father with dimension. By all accounts in my readings of the many biographies written about Neruda, his memoirs, and the scholarly papers, his father was as I depicted him. I wanted to understand why Father behaved the way he did. I discovered that his early years had been difficult. He left home at a young age and struggled to survive. That issue of wanting a different life for his children, and the cultural issues of a man’s dictatorial role in the family at that time, contributed to his personality. I trusted the reader to understand. That is one of the reasons I included Neruda’s poem about his father in the back matter. Neruda came to terms with his father, at least in his mind. After THE DREAMER published, I received a letter from a Neruda academic in the United States who added this post script: You were generous to the father. You and I both know he was much worse.
Excerpted from her website.