Archive for January, 2012

Patremoir Tweet Summary #6: Messages from My Father by Calvin Trillin

TweetWith Trillins’ trademark dignity and quiet wit, this short patremoir radiates filial appreciation. Messages from My Father is a book grounded in common sense and responsibility, a “from Missouri” kind of book. From beginning to end, this is a book about subtle messages and light editing. In celebrating the integrity and gentle wisdom of the [...]

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Blog #35: Fathers Leads to Edward Hirsch

TweetOne of the great things about research and pursuing a theme is that the journey almost always leads you to unexpected and surprising places. Consider the following sequence: Fathers led me to Rita Dove, who led me to Cynthia Haven’s blog, which led me to Berfrois, which (after leading me back to Rita Dove by [...]

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Patremoir Tweet Summary #5: Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood

Tweet Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood (McClelland and Stewart 1995) While Morning In the Burned House is not a pure patremoir, it contains enough powerful father poems to justify a week of patremoir tweets. The more I read and reread Atwood’s poetry, the more I think her accomplishments as a major poet [...]

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Patremoir Tweet Summary #4: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

TweetFun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin 2006) As Art Spiegelman proved with Maus, father memoirs can take graphic narrative form. Courageously original and lovingly honest, Fun Home is a coming of age story–a story of lesbian self-discovery–which also outs the father posthumously as a closeted gay man and a possible suicide. In intertwining her [...]

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Patremoir Tweet Summary #3: There is a Season by Patrick Lane

TweetThere is A Season by Patrick Lane (McClelland & Stewart 2004) These tweet “Patremoir of the week” summaries are a godsend. Blogging time has had to be reassigned to an unpleasant outbreak of plumbing and plastering. The tweet summary allows me to maintain the illusion of blogging. I’ll strengthen the illusion by prefacing the tweets [...]

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Patremoir Tweet Summary #2: Fatheralong

TweetFatheralong by John Edgar Wideman (Pantheon, 1994) This remarkable memoir blends the personal and the political to raise important questions about race, fatherhood, and identity. Wideman asks searching questions about how race shaped and limited his father. He is less successful in examining his relationship with his second son, Jacob, even if the inclusion of [...]

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Blog #34: A father essay by Michael Rosen, and my Guardian faux pas

TweetToday’s Guardian has a father essay by Michael Rosen. The essay is wonderful, both for the sensitivity and tenderness with which Michael evokes his dead father, and for the way in which Michael celebrates reading and the ways in which reading deepens and enriches our worlds. With Dickensian skill Michael yokes his memories of his [...]

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