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Q: Fathers writing about daughters ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   11 Comments )
Subject: Fathers writing about daughters
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: goofy166-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 14 Apr 2004 06:58 PDT
Expires: 14 May 2004 06:58 PDT
Question ID: 330068
Need list of books of fathers writing about daughters, mainly memoirs.
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 14 Apr 2004 17:51 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Off the top of my head (and I can't answer much off the top of my
head!), I came up with these three:

In 1921 legendary journalist William Allen White penned a tribute to
his daughter who died at age 16, following a fall from a horse.
White's memoir was made into a movie, "Mary White":
which I very vaguely recall watching back when I was a teen. 

Here is the legendary essay that inspired that film:
archived by the Kansas State Historical Society. 

Allen wrote many books, including his autobiography, which contains
reminiscences of his daughter, and which you can purchase at 
(Macmillan Publishing, New York, NY. Date Published: 1946.) It includes

Late 1950s California surfer girl Kathy Kohner, inspired her dad,
writer Frederick Kohner, to whip up a little book called "Gidget,"
which launched the films, then the TV series, of the same name:
(Berkley Pub Group; Reissue edition; June 12, 2001.) 

Senator George McGovern wrote an acclaimed memoir of his daughter's
failed battle against alcoholism:
"Terry: My Daughter's Life-And-Death Struggle With Alcoholism":
(Plume; Reprint edition; August 1997.) 

I hope this helps you! I tried to find more, but using search terms
like "father's memoir +daughter" yielded, as czh-ga noted, books
written by daughters about their dads.

It seems dads writing about their daughters is a very limited genre. 


Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 15 Apr 2004 07:03 PDT
Here's three more:

James Joyce used his daughter Lucia as the model for Issy in his
classic novel, "Finnegans Wake":

"Love, Groucho: Letters from Groucho Marx to His Daughter Miriam"
(Publishing Mills; September 1992.) 

Good Morning, Merry Sunshine: A Father's Journal of His Child's First
Year, by Bob Greene:
(Paperback edition: Penguin Books,1985.)

Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 18 Apr 2004 12:04 PDT
I'm very sorry you're so disappointed in my work, but frankly, I'm
baffled by your response: all seven of the books (plus one essay) that
I listed for you were written by fathers about their daughters.

(One exception: the Groucho book isn't so much a typical memoir, but
contains  correspondence between Groucho and his daughter. But I
thought it still might fit your needs, especially since there are so
few books in this genre, period.)
goofy166-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
While there are several links many are too off topic. Only Landscape
of the Heart is a book that fits the answer.

Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: czh-ga on 14 Apr 2004 12:46 PDT
Hello goofy166-ga,

What an interesting question and what surprising results! Nothing! A
quick search turns up dozens of books by daughters writing about
fathers but I?ve only been able to find one book of essays by men
writing about daughters.

The bibliography at this site gives an interesting glimpse of the lack
of writing by men about their daughters -- or about fatherhood or
parenting in general. 
The Men's Bibliography 
A comprehensive bibliography of writing on men, masculinities, gender,
and sexualities (11th edition)
Compiled by Michael Flood
First published in 1992
Updated 30 May 2003

Very challenging question.

~ czh ~
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: bowler-ga on 14 Apr 2004 14:24 PDT
Here's one possibility:

Landscape of the Heart: Writings on Daughters and Journeys
by Stephen J. Lyons
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: bowler-ga on 14 Apr 2004 14:27 PDT
Another possibility?

Little People 
by Dan Kennedy
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: bowler-ga on 14 Apr 2004 14:29 PDT
There may be some in here:
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: bowler-ga on 14 Apr 2004 14:33 PDT
There are a couple of titles in this list:
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: czh-ga on 14 Apr 2004 19:46 PDT
Fathering Daughters: Reflections by Men
by Dewitt Henry (Editor), James Alan McPherson (Editor)

Book Description
A landmark collection of original essays that fills the void of
writing by men about their daughters. Contributors include Phillip
Lopate, Rick Bass, Gerald Early, Gary Soto, Scott Sanders, Nicholas
Delbanco, and Alan Cheuse. --This text refers to the Paperback
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: nancylynn-ga on 18 Apr 2004 08:17 PDT
A friend told me about one more: "Landscape of the Heart: Writings on
Daughters and Journeys," by Stephen J. Lyons. (Washington State Univ
Pr; August 1996.)


"Book Description
In Landscape of the Heart, Stephen J. Lyons writes of a five-year
period following a divorce when he and his young daughter Rose serch
for new meanings in their lives and their relationship. This quiet
work of healing is both painful and joyful as Stephen and Rose
discover the West together. These essays and poems confirm the
existence of an internal "landscape" that responds to birds on the
wing, mountain lakes, big skies, and dense forests - a landscape of
the heart.

" 'These are the moments I am moving in,' writes Lyons. 'As I get
older, I lean more and more toward these small pockets of the obvious
and the mysterious that rise from the landscape, surround memories,
and enhance a sense of possibilities. This is also where I am leading
my daughter during the short years of our time together.'"
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: goofy166-ga on 18 Apr 2004 13:09 PDT
Maybe my rating is not fair but the reason I gave it a 3 was because
not many of the links helped me. The first three links are about
William Allen White who wrote a short essay not a book. The Gigit book
seems like a snapshot of a short time in a girl's life (15 years old),
I guess it does qualify as an answer, but I was looking for a broader
time scale, a wider viewpoint. The story by McGovern is an important
one I agree. I could not find any info on the Green story. If there is
a way to revise my rating I will increase it.
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: sublime1-ga on 18 Apr 2004 13:36 PDT

Unfortunately, there is currently no way for a rating to be revised.
In the future, you might want to be aware that most researchers are
more than happy to address any perceived shortcomings in their
answers if you post them in a Request for Clarification prior to
rating the answer.

A user's guide on this topic is on skermit-ga's site, here: 

Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: nancylynn-ga on 18 Apr 2004 13:44 PDT
Re: more information about the Bob Greene book, "Good Morning, Merry
Sunshine," which documents the first year of his daughter's life (so,
also just a "snapshot" and perhaps not helpful to you).

Actually, that book has been out of print for some time, so there's
only some tidbits about it online:

Some excerpts from the book can be found here:
(Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

This article mentions the book in passing, but mainly focuses on
Greene's fall from grace as a journalist:

I believe the McGovern book pretty much reviews his daughter's whole
life. I really don't know of any other book-length memoir of a
daughter written by a father -- a work that spans the daughter's
entire life.

I'm as baffled as anyone as to why men don't write about their
daughters. (Perhaps the emotional connection is so profoundly deep
that it's just too overwhelming for men. Most dads forever view their
daughters as their "litle girls.")

I'm afraid there's very little out there that fits your exact needs. I
hope you find some good leads among the other possibilities my
colleagues listed for you.

Good luck with your research!
Subject: Re: Fathers writing about daughters
From: pinkfreud-ga on 18 Apr 2004 14:18 PDT
I thought this was an excellent answer, nancylynn. I'd like to read
some of these books. Thank you for the list.

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