- 11,99 €
The bestselling author of The Things They Carried and If I Die in a Combat Zone shares wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humour and rewards of raising two sons.
When Tim O’Brien became an older father, he resolved to give his young sons what he wished his own father had given to him – a few scraps of paper signed ‘Love, Dad’. Maybe a word of advice. Maybe a sentence or two about some long-ago Christmas Eve. Maybe some scattered glimpses of their rapidly ageing father, a man they might never really know. For the next fifteen years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living.
O’Brien traverses the great variety of human experience and emotion, moving from soccer games to warfare to risqué lullabies, from alcoholism to magic shows to history lessons to bittersweet bedtime stories, but always returning to a father’s soul-saving love for his sons.
The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, a funny, tender, wise, and enduring literary achievement that will squeeze the reader’s heart with joy and recognition.
‘[A] stirring blend of memoir, letters to his young sons, and meditations on the humbling nature of parenthood…It’s a work that’s the spiritual inheritor of John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley and Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without a Country. [O’Brien] takes absolutism to task, finds qualifications for his own pacifism and considers the paradox of a moral society that allows for forever war’ Time Magazine
‘O'Brien uses his deft skill of wordplay throughout this latest book…Fans of parenting books, memoirs, and stories of Vietnam War veterans will find enjoyment in these heartfelt words’ Library Journal
About the author
Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed novels include The Things They Carried; July, July; and Going After Cacciato, which received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013. He lives in Austin, Texas.
This tender memoir begins in 2003, when 58-year-old novelist O'Brien (The Things They Carried) has a one-year-old son and another one on the way. In the format of letters to his sons, he shares the joys of fatherhood, which are muted by the prospect that his children may know him only as an old man or not know him at all ("Life is fragile. Hearts go still"). For the next 15 years, with the ashes of his father in an urn on his bookcase, O'Brien writes for his children what he wished his father had left him: "Some scraps of paper signed Love Dad'." O'Brien covers nights of colic, basketball games, and homework battles, but this is not a compendium of cute witticisms. He taps into the dark corners of his mind, sharing an analysis of, say, the parallels between the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and his 1969 tour of duty in Vietnam's Quang Ngai Province. He then presents a well-reasoned argument for replacing the word "war" with the phrase "killing people, including children," and war's impact on culture. O'Brien concludes with a humorous, moving letter of instruction for his 100th birthday. With great candor, O'Brien succeeds in conveying the urgency parents may feel at any age, as they ready their children for life without them.