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978-0-8070-6246-3 / 9780807062463

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About the book:

No one questions the fact that men are profoundly influenced by their fathers, but the shape and substance of that influence varies dramatically with the particulars of each family. In this, the first anthology of nonfiction prose to explore this issue in depth, editor Steven Shepherd has collected a diverse and invariably compelling group of narratives about sons and their fathers.


James Baldwin, in his classic "Notes of a Native Son," reflects on the father he barely knew, "partly because we shared, in our different fashions, the vice of stubborn pride." Geoffrey Wolff and Tobias Wolff write of their mutual father from dramatically different perspectives. A second-generation undertaker, Thomas Lynch writes lovingly of burying his father. The acclaimed scholar of African-American culture Henry Louis Gates, Jr., grew up with a father who "was not a race man," and yet their vehement arguments were part of the son's education.

"This is not a collection of horror stories; nor does it devolve into cloying sentimentality. In these true stories, some fathers work six days a week, and some get drunk every morning. Some are role models, and some are monsters. Some stay, and some leave. And their impact is undeniable."
Teresa Weaver, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Our Fathers offers a series of case studies in how the American male of the 20th century eschewed direct communication and affection."
*Eric Sorensen, Seattle Times

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