Share Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

Julianna Haubner joined the editorial team at Simon & Schuster in September 2014. A lifelong reader, she is most drawn to literary fiction, biography, cultural history, and narrative non-fiction; it’s her firm belief that every human should own a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, and EMPIRE FALLS is the book that changed her life. When Julianna’s not reading and reviewing, she’s downloading podcast episodes as if there are more than 24 hours in a day, watching Bravo, baking, and running the Off the Shelf Instagram. You can follow her on Twitter @jhaubner2.

Whatever our relationship with them, fathers are an important part of our lives, providing guidance and wisdom—or at the very least, a few good stories. To celebrate and commemorate the paternal bonds that help make us who we are, here are our favorite father figures in truth and fiction.


After Visiting Friends
by Michael Hainey
Michael Hainey was 6 years old when his father, a star in the Chicago newspaper world, died under mysterious circumstances. Decades later, the loss still troubled him, and so he decided to investigate what happened that fateful night. What results is a poignant and powerful memoir about family, resilience, and memory.
After Visiting Friends
Michael Hainey

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

A Son’s Stirring Memoir of His Father’s Death

By Hilary Krutt | November 11, 2015

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Dreams From My Father
by Barack Obama
Before he was the forty-fourth president of the United States, Barack Obama was a man searching for answers. Raised by his white American mother, he only knew his African father through the stories he was told—more myth than man. That is, until he learned that his father had died in a car accident, prompting an emotional odyssey across the world that helped him reconcile his divided past.
Dreams From My Father
Barack Obama

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

I Once Was President, Here Is My Story. 5 Presidential Memoirs

By Allison Tyler | February 17, 2014

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My Father's Daughter
by Tina Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was an icon whose voice, style, and personality was adored by millions. To so many he was “Ol’ Blue Eyes” or “The Voice,” but to Tina Sinatra he was just “Dad.” In this unflinching account, Tina reveals a restless, lonely man whose many marriages and front-page dramas kept happiness just out of reach.

My Father's Daughter
Tina Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was an icon whose voice, style, and personality was adored by millions. To so many he was “Ol’ Blue Eyes” or “The Voice,” but to Tina Sinatra he was just “Dad.” In this unflinching account, Tina reveals a restless, lonely man whose many marriages and front-page dramas kept happiness just out of reach.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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Fairyland
by Alysia Abbott
Alysia Abbott and her father, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott, were a dynamic duo living in 1970s San Francisco, a city bursting with gay men in the throes of a revolution. Years later, when AIDS begins to devastate the community and Steve falls ill, a teenage Alysia (now in New York) must choose between her newfound independence, or the responsibility of caring for her father.
Fairyland
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.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

Dads and Daughters, Books That Explore The Eternal Bond

By Allison Tyler | June 10, 2014

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Not My Father's Son
by Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming is a master of stage and screen. When UK television producers approached him to appear on a celebrity genealogy show in 2010, he enthusiastically agreed. But as the truth about his family history began to emerge, so did feelings and revelations about his complicated relationship with his father.

Not My Father's Son
Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming is a master of stage and screen. When UK television producers approached him to appear on a celebrity genealogy show in 2010, he enthusiastically agreed. But as the truth about his family history began to emerge, so did feelings and revelations about his complicated relationship with his father.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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My Father, the Pornographer
by Chris Offutt

When famed writer Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited three things: a desk, a gun, and more than a thousand pounds of pornographic fiction. When Chris begins to sort through his father’s papers, he finally finds an opportunity to get to know the father who was always just out of reach.

My Father, the Pornographer
Chris Offutt

When famed writer Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited three things: a desk, a gun, and more than a thousand pounds of pornographic fiction. When Chris begins to sort through his father’s papers, he finally finds an opportunity to get to know the father who was always just out of reach.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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Born on the Bayou
by Blaine Lourd

This one is for fans of THE LIARS’ CLUB and THE TENDER BAR. Set in the oil towns of 1970s Louisiana, Blaine Lourd’s memoir details his relationship with his larger-than-life father, “Puffer,” and his older brother, Bryan. In raw, confessional prose, Lourd explores the power and pain of family, and the way that our roots seem to follow us wherever we go.

Born on the Bayou
Blaine Lourd

This one is for fans of THE LIARS’ CLUB and THE TENDER BAR. Set in the oil towns of 1970s Louisiana, Blaine Lourd’s memoir details his relationship with his larger-than-life father, “Puffer,” and his older brother, Bryan. In raw, confessional prose, Lourd explores the power and pain of family, and the way that our roots seem to follow us wherever we go.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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My Struggle: Book 1
by Karl Ove Knausgaard
The first in a series of six autobiographical novels, MY STRUGGLE is the modern reader’s answer to Proust, an existential and provocative work that follows the narrator as he grapples with the big issues of death, love, art, and fear, and the everyday realities of fatherhood, marriage, and manhood.
My Struggle: Book 1
Karl Ove Knausgaard

Comprised of six novels, My Struggle is a semi-autobiographical chronicle of the author’s experiences from childhood to the present day. Whether describing a fight with his father or a quotidian trip to the grocery story, Knausgaard finds a surprising rhythm and beauty in life’s struggles that makes this series a hypnotic read.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

11 Binge-Worthy Literary Series

By Emma Volk | August 27, 2015

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Patrimony
by Philip Roth

While Roth is best known for his fiction, PATRIMONY might just be his most emotional and thought-provoking work. As he watches his 86-year-old father suffer from a brain tumor that will inevitably kill him, Roth documents and details each stage of the fight, revealing a much larger history of stubbornness and survival.

Patrimony
Philip Roth

While Roth is best known for his fiction, PATRIMONY might just be his most emotional and thought-provoking work. As he watches his 86-year-old father suffer from a brain tumor that will inevitably kill him, Roth documents and details each stage of the fight, revealing a much larger history of stubbornness and survival.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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In My Father's Shadow
by Chris Welles Feder

Of the countless stars Hollywood has produced, few are as famous—or infamous—as Orson Welles. His film “Citizen Kane” is said to be the greatest of all time, and his work is studied by aspiring actors and directors all over the world. Many books have been written about him, but this is the one to read—a fully realized portrait of the man and the myth, written by his daughter.

In My Father's Shadow
Chris Welles Feder

Of the countless stars Hollywood has produced, few are as famous—or infamous—as Orson Welles. His film “Citizen Kane” is said to be the greatest of all time, and his work is studied by aspiring actors and directors all over the world. Many books have been written about him, but this is the one to read—a fully realized portrait of the man and the myth, written by his daughter.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

Close

My Year of Running Dangerously
by Tom Foreman

While some fathers and daughters bond over football, fishing, or film, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman and his daughter, Ronnie, found common ground by running on it. When Ronnie asked if Tom would be willing to train for a marathon with her, the 51-year-old knew it would be hard and probably painful, but the prospect of bonding with his college-bound child was too good to pass up.

My Year of Running Dangerously
Tom Foreman

While some fathers and daughters bond over football, fishing, or film, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman and his daughter, Ronnie, found common ground by running on it. When Ronnie asked if Tom would be willing to train for a marathon with her, the 51-year-old knew it would be hard and probably painful, but the prospect of bonding with his college-bound child was too good to pass up.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

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Duke of Deception
by Geoffrey Wolff

In THE DUKE OF DECEPTION, Geoffrey Wolff unravels the enigma of his Gatsbyesque father who supported himself with desperately improvised scams: exploiting employers, wives, and, finally, his own son. Somehow, while being an inveterate liar, Duke Wolff was also a very good father who falsified everything but love for his son.

Duke of Deception
Geoffrey Wolff

In THE DUKE OF DECEPTION, Geoffrey Wolff unravels the enigma of his Gatsbyesque father who supported himself with desperately improvised scams: exploiting employers, wives, and, finally, his own son. Somehow, while being an inveterate liar, Duke Wolff was also a very good father who falsified everything but love for his son.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

Close

Reading My Father
by Alexandra Styron
Alexandra Styron is the youngest daughter of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist William Styron, a fascinating and difficult man who famously battled depression. Part memoir and part elegy, READING MY FATHER is the wise and graceful story of a daughter coming to know her father at last.
Reading My Father
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.

MENTIONED IN:

Who’s Your Daddy? 15 Powerful Stories About Fathers

By Julianna Haubner | June 14, 2016

Dads and Daughters, Books That Explore The Eternal Bond

By Allison Tyler | June 10, 2014

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