Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Essential Reading: Fatherhood

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This Father's Day, Literary Mamas share four essential titles containing a variety of insights for fathers everywhere. Celebrate this special day with a good book!

Download the list to find it fast at your local bookstore or library.

Kristina Riggle, Fiction Co-Editor, recommends The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. "This is a beautifully wrought, subtle book that is about the various legacies a father passes to a son, both intended and unintended, and how such legacies are not always received the way one would expect."


Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist writes, "Somebody loaned me comedian Paul Reiser's book, Babyhood, when I was pregnant with my first child. It is a perfectly light, funny read for a new or expectant father. I remember his anecdote about his wife sending him off to the post office with their infant: 'Go,' she says, 'It'll be an adventure!' Resier is witty and rueful about how much his life has changed, post-baby, that a trip to the post office is an adventure; I still smile to think of it."

Irena Smith, Columns Editorial Assistant, names Jonathan Miles' Dear American Airlines "It begins as a letter of complaint to the aforementioned airline and quickly becomes an acerbic, wincingly honest, and ultimately profoundly touching meditation on (among other things) airport food, literary talent, the narrator's schizophrenic mother and infinitely patient Polish-born Holocaust survivor father, the nature of time, unhelpful airline employees, and the many mistakes he has made as a father and a husband. The main character, Benny, tells a story (or 200+ page letter of complaint, really) that is, in the end, an old one: a story about adult choices and responsibilities, about the impossibility of being a father (or a husband) before becoming an adult in fact as well as in name. But it is written in language so irreverent, innovative, resonant, hilarious, and heart-breaking that even wrenching pathos becomes subsumed in the dazzling celebration of literary style and the ability of words both to condemn and to redeem us all."


Heather Cori, Columnist, recommends Alternadad by Neal Pollack. "My husband and I read this book aloud together. In Alternadad, Neal tells his own story of being a hip party guy who always knows what kind of music to play. Together with his funky artist wife he shares how their world changes when baby Elijah enters the picture. They detail many parenting discussions and decisions and even though we made some different choices with our kids, it made me think and I appreciated the honesty and the humor. This book has been written many times over, but I think it's important that these books continue to be published so that we are humbled, entertained and persuaded to be thoughtful about parenthood and even more specifically, fatherhood."


Christina Marie Speed writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Caper Journal, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, and The View From Here. She lives with her husband and two sons in a sunny fourth-floor walkup in Brooklyn, New York.


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