No one questions that men are profoundly influenced by their fathers, but the shape and substance of that influence varies with 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.
“Fourteen excellent essays by some of our best writers,” says Anne Morris of the Austin American-Statesman. Among the contributors: James Baldwin, who reflects in his classic “Notes of a Native Son,” on the father he barely knew, “partly because we shared, in our different fashions, the vice of stubborn pride.” The brothers Geoffrey and Tobias Wolff, who write of their father from dramatically different perspectives. A second-generation undertaker, Thomas Lynch, who writes lovingly of burying his father. And the acclaimed scholar of African-American culture, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who grew up with a father who “was not a race man,” yet their arguments were vital to the son’s education.
“Fathers lead the way for many of us. This book shows us the many ways they do.”
-Eric Sorensen, The Seattle Times
“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, The 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.” —The Seattle Times