From the bestselling author of The Girls comes a “brilliant” (The New York Times) story collection exploring the dark corners of human experience.
“Daddy’s ten masterful, provocative stories confirm that Cline is a staggering talent.”—Esquire
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
An absentee father collects his son from boarding school after a shocking act of violence. A nanny to a celebrity family hides out in Laurel Canyon in the aftermath of a tabloid scandal. A young woman sells her underwear to strangers. A notorious guest arrives at a placid, not-quite rehab in the Southwest.
In ten remarkable stories, Emma Cline portrays moments when the ordinary is disturbed, when daily life buckles, revealing the perversity and violence pulsing under the surface. She explores characters navigating the edge, the limits of themselves and those around them: power dynamics in families, in relationships, the distance between their true and false selves. They want connection, but what they provoke is often closer to self-sabotage. What are the costs of one’s choices? Of the moments when we act, or fail to act? These complexities are at the heart of Daddy, Emma Cline’s sharp-eyed illumination of the contrary impulses that animate our inner lives.
Cline follows up her bestselling The Girls with a probing, low-key collection that speaks to the raw nerves of everyday people as they struggle against pressures both personal and perennial. Families torn apart by secrecy and regret feature in "What Can You Do with a General," in which a family's Christmas Eve is darkened by the prospect of euthanizing their dog, and "Northeast Regional," where a father facing his missteps in life is summoned to the boarding school where his son was expelled after a violent incident. A woman caring for a child of celebrities becomes thrust into a scandal in "The Nanny," and retreats to a family friend's house in the canyons north of Los Angeles. Two adolescent girls undertake a disastrous attempt to get the attention of a near-stranger in "Marion." Cline's ability to peer into the darker corners of her characters' lives and discern desolation is also on display in "A/S/L," which follows a young girl in and out of rehab, while a son living in his film producer father's shadow debuts his terrible movie in "Son of Friedman." The subtlety of these 10 stories may surprise readers expecting the same luridness Cline brought to The Girls, but the payoffs are as gratifying as they are shattering.
I was so happy to see Emma had finally published another book. Short stories are extremely difficult to write & I liked this book even more than “The Girls.” Almost every tale had pieces so totally relatable and I am so impressed with her style of writing...the language she uses, how she conveys emotions with carefully placed sentences that if you’re not careful, you’ll miss them. I read the book twice, enjoying the subtleties I overlooked the first time. Well done & highly recommended. Emma, please write more frequently!