Daddy

Charles Cohen, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-312-18167-3
Jamie Greene is 40 years old, a tenured professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and recently separated from his wife Ellen Ornstein, the phenomenally successful owner of a New York ad agency. Boyishly good-looking, possessed of charm, intelligence and the extramarital favors of an exorbitantly sexy and wealthy student, Jamie believes he's navigating midlife without a major crisis. Then Ellen informs him that the romp they shared his last night at home has resulted in a pregnancy. She asks him to be a father to the baby while staying out of her life. The prospect of fatherhood casts a decidedly different light on Jamie's self-satisfaction and gives rise to emotional confusions that are the subject of this hilarious and superbly modern coming-of-age novel. Subplots involve a $15-million suit against the university (the charge is pro-Semitism by the tenure committee); Ellen's reconciliation with her mother (who calls herself Mrs. Doctor Ornstein); and Jamie's resolution of his own parentless childhood (he was raised by three bachelor uncles, who collectively deserve this year's award for best fictional minor character). Funny, generous and witty, Cohen's second novel (after Falling Out takes sharp pokes at the mores of affluent, semi-intellectual city life, while celebrating the timeless joys and pains of growing up into parenthood. Paperback rights, Pocket Books. (November 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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