Dad's Maybe Book (Hardcover)

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Best-selling author Tim O’Brien shares wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humor, and rewards of raising two sons.

“We are all writing our maybe books full of maybe tomorrows, and each maybe tomorrow brings another maybe tomorrow, and then another, until the last line of the last page receives its period.”
In 2003, already an older father, National Book Award–winning novelist Tim O’Brien resolved to give his young sons what he wished his own father had given to him—a few scraps of paper signed “Love, Dad.” Maybe a word of advice. Maybe a sentence or two about some long-ago Christmas Eve. Maybe some scattered glimpses of their rapidly aging father, a man they might never really know. For the next fifteen years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living.
O’Brien traverses the great variety of human experience and emotion, moving from soccer games to warfare to risqué lullabies, from alcoholism to magic shows to history lessons to bittersweet bedtime stories, but always returning to a father’s soul-saving love for his sons.
The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, a funny, tender, wise, and enduring literary achievement that will squeeze the reader’s heart with joy and recognition.

About the Author

TIM O’BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013.

Praise For…

“[A] stirring blend of memoir, letters to his young sons, and meditations on the humbling nature of parenthood . . . It’s a work that’s the spiritual inheritor of John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley  and Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without a Country. Like those, Dad’s Maybe Book dwells on the state of America and American life. He takes absolutism to task, finds qualifications for his own pacifism and considers the paradox of a moral society that allows for forever war.” —TIME Magazine
“A moving meditation on fatherhood.” —The National, Amtrak’s magazine
“Brilliant . . . To say the book is about ‘fatherhood’ is akin to saying that Catch-22  is about World War II.”VVA Veteran (Vietnam Veterans of America)
“Touching . . . A dazzling dedication to life, love, and fatherhood.” —Austin Monthly
“Tim O’Brien has written amazingly powerful novels. Now he’s gifting us with a terrific book of personal essays. His every just-the-right word about family, history, war, literature, and love dispatched tears and laughter and contemplation into my brain and heart.” —Orange County Register
“O'Brien uses his deft skill of wordplay throughout this latest book…Fans of parenting books, memoirs, and stories of Vietnam War veterans will find enjoyment in these heartfelt words.” —Library Journal
“[A] tender memoir . . . With great candor, O’Brien succeeds in conveying the urgency parents may feel at any age, as they ready their children for life without them.” —Publishers Weekly
“O’Brien writes of the bitter irony of being known as a war writer, ‘despite my hatred for war, despite my ineptitude at war, despite my abiding shame at having participated in war.’” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Product Details
ISBN: 9780618039708
ISBN-10: 0618039708
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 14th, 2019
Pages: 400