Dads and Daughters, Books That Explore The Eternal Bond

Father/daughter relationships can be complicated, and these six titles, all written by the daughters of rather extraordinary fathers, run the gamut from heart-warming to heart-wrenching. There’s the tale of growing up as a bishop’s daughter; the story of a widowed activist father; memories from the daughters of both a Holocaust survivor, and a Vietnam War Veteran; the memoir by the daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Stryon; and the saga of a disappearing family. You may even find glimpses of your own father, or daughter, in these poignant retellings. Happy Father’s Day!

1Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father
by Alysia Abbott

After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child. Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.

2Reading My Father: A Memoir
by Alexandra Styron

Part memoir and part elegy, Reading My Father is the story of a daughter coming to know her father, with humor, understanding, and grace. Alexandra Styron grew up in Connecticut and on Martha’s Vineyard, where her family’s vibrant social life included writers, presidents, and entertainers. She was raised under both the halo of her father William Stryon's brilliance, and the long shadow of his troubled mind.

3No Goodbyes: A Father-Daughter Memoir of Love, War and Resurrection
by Naava Piatka

When actress/playwright/author Naava Piatka interviews her Holocaust survivor father, Xavier Piat, she is amazed to hear such intimate, graphic revelations of family drama, political upheaval, sexual seduction, divorce, mass murder, betrayal and ultimate creative triumph. Soon, she is thrust into an epic saga of one man's journey through the shifting European landscape of Communism, Nazism, Zionism, Nationalism and immigration - where survival depends on luck, who you know, and finding the friend beneath the foe.

4The Year We Disappeared: A Father – Daughter Memoir
by Cylin Busby

When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she was obsessed with Izod clothing, the Muppets, and a box turtle she kept in a shoebox. Then everything changed overnight. Her police officer father, John, was driving to his shift when someone leveled a shotgun at his window. The blasts that followed left John's jaw on the passenger seat of his car—literally. While clinging to life, he managed to write down the name of the only person he thought could have pulled the trigger. The suspect? A local ex-con with rumored mob connections. The motive? Officer Busby was scheduled to testify against the suspect's family in an upcoming trial. Overnight, the Busbys went from being the "family next door" to one under 24-hour armed guard, with police escorts to school, and no contact with friends. Worse, the shooter was still on the loose, and it seemed only a matter of time before he'd come after John—or someone else in the family—again. With few choices left to them, the Busby family went into hiding, severing all ties to the only life they had known.

5The Bishop’s Daughter: A Memoir
by Honor Moore

Paul Moore’s vocation as an Episcopal priest took him— with his wife, Jenny, and their family of nine children—from robber-baron wealth to work among the urban poor, leadership in the civil rights and peace movements, and two decades as the bishop of New York. The Bishop’s Daughter is his daughter’s story of that complex, visionary man: a chronicle of her turbulent relationship with a father who struggled privately with his sexuality while she openly explored hers, and a searching account of the consequences of sexual secrets.

6Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir
by Danielle Trussoni

From her charismatic father, Danielle Trussoni learned how to rock and roll, outrun the police, and never shy away from a fight. Spending hour upon hour trailing him around the bars and honky-tonks of La Crosse, Wisconsin, young Danielle grew up fascinated by stories of her dad's adventures as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, where he'd risked his life crawling head first into narrow passageways to search for American POWs. This vivid and poignant portrait of a daughter's relationship with her father is funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written.