In keeping with the theme of books as holiday gifts, here's a couple books I recommended from a column I did earlier this year... Michael and Jenoyne are great L.S. based writers. Enjoy!
I'm pretty lucky to have had a father, my birth father, in the home and active in my growing up years and with our family. And for as long as I did, through my adult years.
Lucky. And rare.
At least, that's what I hear from many of my students, who this week got to experience the literary world of Michael Datcher, author of Raising Fences: A Black Man's Love Story, and Jenoyne Adams, author of the novels Resurrecting Mingus and Selah's Bed. Michael and Jenoyne, by the way, are a husband and wife literary duo.
But back to the whole father thing. Michael's book, a memoir, explores his growing-up years in inner-city Los Angeles and how fatherlessness was the one thing he had in common with his neighborhood friends. And amidst the unspoken words of their single moms -- that men are not to be trusted -- Michael, and many of his friends still had what he calls "picket-fence" dreams.
It's been a couple days since Michael Datcher and Jenoyne Adams shared their work with the students. And since that time, many of them stopped by my office to say "how cool" it was to attend an event like that -- a book reading and signing, their first. Many also shared how the event moved them, stirred up memories of their growing up years, and made them think about how their own fatherlessness as children affected them -- even to this day.
Amazing how books can do that.