Good Minds Suggest—Brando Skyhorse's Favorite Books About Fathers

Posted by Goodreads on June 3, 2014
Abandoned by his father at age three and deceived by his mother about his heritage, writer Brando Skyhorse did not find out that he was Mexican American until age 12 or 13. After writing letters to an American Indian man in jail for armed robbery, his mother had decided that her son would have a new father, a new name, and a whole new culture. Young Brando Ulloa became Brando Skyhorse, growing up with a long line of temporary father figures in the form of his mother's boyfriends. Skyhorse drew on his upbringing in a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles in his debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, winner of the 2011 Pen/Hemingway Award. The Stanford graduate finally found and contacted his birth father at age 36; he wrote the memoir Take This Man about his protracted quest for identity. Skyhorse offers five books about fathers—both real and imaginary.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"I wanted a dad like Atticus Finch. Strong, wise, confident (but not belligerent) with a gun. I would have settled for the leg-lamp loving dad in A Christmas Story. What I got was a candy sampler box. Five stepfathers, each with his own nougat-y or crunchy surprise inside. Atticus is the gold standard for fatherhood. He's the father every boy wishes he had, and the father every good man strives to be."

About a Boy by Nick Hornby
"It's hard to find great surrogate father stories. I had five surrogates, so believe me, I've tried. This book, along with the classic animated series Home Movies, captures surrogate fatherhood better than anything else out there. A romantic scoundrel and incorrigible man-child invents a child to pick up single mothers, then accidentally befriends a young boy. They don't become 'father and son,' but their friendship skews paternal in a way that's honest and real and almost never seen in books or movies."

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
"Rex Walls is every man you've met in a bar who says, after a couple of whiskeys, 'I'm gonna do something that'll change the world.' For Rex it was a glorious glass castle he was going to build for his family. I'm not spoiling things here to say he never got around to it. What he did instead was give his daughter Jeannette a story. Her indomitable strength and her extraordinary abilities as a storyteller did in fact change the world. This book has helped millions of people come to peace with their own complicated childhoods, myself included. This Father's Day, drink a toast to Rex, then hug your kid close and tell them you love them."

The Duke of Deception by Geoffrey Wolff
"Geoffrey Wolff is 'The Beatles' of modern-day memoirists. This book is his 'Revolver.' It opens like this: The author Geoffrey Wolff gets the news that his father, Duke, has died in front of a group of friends. 'Thank God,' he says. What kind of monster would say such a thing? Three hundred pages later, you learn just how generous those words really were. Duke Wolff is both your father on a bad day and my father on a good one."

Archipelago by Monique Roffey
"Some writers compare writing a book to sailing a boat deep out to sea. Monique Roffey actually sailed a boat from Trinidad through the Panama Canal before landing on the Galapagos. Then she wrote this novel. I'll never complain about how hard it is to write again. A father loses his baby son in a flood in Trinidad. To cope with his grief he takes his daughter Ocean and his dog out for a four-month adventure at sea. It's an extraordinary journey through the Caribbean and into a father's heartbroken soul. Read it."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Fantastic Dads and Father Figures

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message 1: by Archna (new)

Archna seems a very sensitive imagination how a boy sees his f ather .rest after reading

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