Father’s Day has come and gone and left me with lingering thoughts about a father’s role. Our individual conceptions of fatherhood are of course marked most profoundly by our personal experiences of life with or without our own fathers, but representations of fathers in our different cultures have also shaped our expectations of what a father should be. That got me thinking about the most memorable literary encounters I’ve had with fathers, both fictional and actual, and so I set about drawing up a list of fathers in literature who really stand out. I’m happy to say that most of … Continue reading MEMORABLE LITERARY FATHERS


My offering of poems this year for Father’s Day explores the contours of fatherhood: Protection, dutiful service, stoicism, silence and sacrifice. These are verses about fathers and sons, and fathers and daughters. They’re about gratitude, tenderness and love. Can you choose a favourite? CARE, by Craig Santos Perez   My 16-month old daughter wakes from her nap and cries. I pick her up, press her against my chest and rub her back until my palm warms like an old family quilt. “Daddy’s here, daddy’s here,” I whisper. Here is the island of Oʻahu, 8,500 miles from Syria. But what if Pacific … Continue reading FATHERS IN VERSE AND MEMORY


I found a terrific novel that I’m so happy to share with you! Book critic Jason Sheehan calls it “shake-a-granny good” (read the review for clarity on that one), while another reviewer describes Tigerman’s “signature device” as a “kind of Scooby-Doo switcheroo”.   Both are right, and that doesn’t even begin to explain what makes Tigerman such a marvel. Lest you think that this is a teen action story, or some kind of comic book, Sheehan also writes that it’s: “The kind of good that makes you wonder why every book isn’t this smart and joyous and beautiful and heartbreaking; that … Continue reading TERRIFIC TIGERMAN!