The frank and intimate journey of self-discovery by author, critic and arts commentator Robert Dessaix. Confronting, revealing and candid, the book traces his life from adoption towards the end of World War II, to a most unusual childhood on Sydney's North Shore, to his fascination with Russia and his time spent studying in Cold War Moscow, and to his years spent criss-crossing the globe from Kashmir to Peru on various study trips. But a life that might have been exciting to others, to Robert was empty at its core. Constantly haunting him was the realisation that there was a "shaft of silence" running through his being - the question of who his natural mother was and what his origins were. A story of coming to terms with a new identity.