Memoir tells tales of FBI fugitive family
There were many things Tyler Wetherall didn’t know while growing up. She didn’t know her real last name until she was 9 years old. She didn’t know her dad was a criminal. And she didn’t know that the reason her family had moved 13 times in her short life was because they were fugitives from the FBI.
Wetherall shares her story in “No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run,” which will be released on April 3 by St. Martin’s Press. She will speak about her new book at Books are Magic on April 9, and will be participating in Narratively’s Memoir Monday series that takes place at Powerhouse Arena on April 16.
Wetherall spent the first decade of her childhood on the run with her parents as they fled across Europe, assuming various identities and hiding out in a series of far-flung places. It wasn’t until Scotland Yard showed up on the doorstep of their English home that she discovered her family had been living a lie. Now her father was attempting one final escape — except this time, he couldn’t take her with him.
Refusing to lose touch with his children, he began calling them from pay phones in secret and flying them out to meet him in hiding. On her 12th birthday, however, Scotland Yard followed her to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, leading to her father’s eventual capture.
During the time spent visiting him in a California prison, Wetherall began to learn the truth about his criminal life. Her father had imported nearly half a billion dollars of Thai marijuana into the U.S. in the late ’70s and early ’80s. By the time she was born in 1983, the FBI was already watching their home.
In this emotionally detailed and carefully wrought memoir, Wetherall brings to life her fugitive childhood, following the threads that tie a family together through hardship, from her parents’ first meeting in 1960s New York to her present life as a restless writer unpacking the secrets of her past. In the vein of “The Glass Castle,” “No Way Home” is a story about love, loss and learning to tell the story of our lives.
Wetherall is a writer living and working in New York City. She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Irish Independent. Her short fiction has been published in The Gettysburg Review and others.
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