In ‘Daddy,’ Emma Cline Delivers Moving Stories of Human Foibles

Lee Polevoi

“If you could just smile a little.”So asks a store manager of a young female employee for a company photo, but the same request might be made of other characters in Emma Cline’s bleak, yet superbly written story collection, Daddy.  In these stories, we meet characters burdened with a history of oblique misdeeds. They share a persistent loneliness, as well as the nagging feeling they may not be cut out for the task of life in any meaningful way. But there’s charm in their ineptness.

My Life as a Dad

Kurt Thurber

In the thousands of years of known human history, every level of brow has been used to discuss fatherhood. Bill Cosby, Louis C.K. and Dr. Spock occupying the highbrow spectrum, Hitler’s Dad, Danny Tanner and Cronus  slumming it in the lower levels and  Hamlet’s pater familias, the former King of Denmark, somewhere in the middle (he could have hugged the Prince of Denmark once or twice, maybe that would have cut the brooding in half, I am on team Fortinbras). I have been a dad for three years and in the immortal words of Vonnegut, so it goes.

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