cover image Man in the Moon: Essays on Fathers & Fatherhood

Man in the Moon: Essays on Fathers & Fatherhood

Edited by Stephanie G'Schwind. Center for Literary Publishing, $19.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-885635-35-8

Paraphrasing G'Schwind's introduction, the writers in this collection are entering a space that is "vast and unoccupied... because that is where we will find our fathers, where they will find us." Needless to say, most of the essays in this book focus on fathers as if they are mysterious creatures, flitting in and out of lives, or specters hovering in the corner, always present but always distant. Because of this, each writer tries to conjure up a connection with his or her (physically or emotionally) absent dad, by trying to finish his unfinished novel or by cataloging facts about emperor penguins and Ward Clever as they relate to fatherhood or by visiting the school for the blind where a father worked after having been placed in juvenile detention. Even in the tales where the father is present, like Matthew Ferrence's "The Slashing," a story about hunting with his dad, or Jim Kennedy's "End of the Line," a reminiscence of the time when he lost by his son and his father in the span of two years, death hangs over all these works. Each writer was left with, as Bill Capossere writes in the title story, "too little clear, too little concrete. Too little to hold to," so they focus on the small things%E2%80%94a decomposing scorpion in a jar or a memory of the moon landing%E2%80%94thereby creating dreamlike narratives. (Aug.)