Dad Lit

The would-be bestseller’s guide to instant literary stardom

Why this epidemic of books on fatherhood? Is every publisher now busily commissioning writers-with-children all over the nation and hoping to churn out a 70,000-word masterpiece of lightly ironised, aw-shucks pat- ernal fondness before the next Father’s Day rolls round?

If you suspected such a thing, you’d be dead right. What we’re seeing here is the second wave of what’s known as “Dad Lit”, that is, books by sensitive, caring yet manly authors about their children. The first wave was occasioned by the coincidental publication of Nick Hornby’s About a Boy and Tony Parsons’s Man and Boy. They had more in common than the word “boy” in the title. They were about emotionally buttoned-up mid-thirties men discovering new feelings, an undiscovered country of emotions, the result of taking responsibility for a young boy.

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