#BookADay 15: Favourite fictional dad

(You’ll notice a few extra u’s and some s’s where you might expect z’s lately. This is a bit of a nod to my friend Ruth Daniell, a poet I met through grad school in Vancouver who at one point said “Come back to Canada! You’ve been away too long. You’re already dropping the u’s in words like “‘neighbour.'” Hence, “favourite” instead of “favorite.” I think my friend ’Nathan will also appreciate this, as any time he submits a manuscript to an American publication these are considerations for him.

(Also, the proper pronunciation of the letter Z is, apparently, not “zee” but “zed.” Those whacky Canadians. But, moving along….)

It’s Father’s Day, which is a complicated day for folks who have a) issues with patriarchy or b) troubled relationships with their dads. While I may have a little of both, I don’t have the latter, and I love my dad. When you come out to your lifelong career-Marine dad and his biggest concern is that you held onto the burden of your secret for so long, that says something.

Favourite fictional dad, though? It seems like almost every day I’m saying that today’s #BookADayUK prompt from The Borough Press has got me stumped. Maybe it’s because fathers tend to get a bad rap in literature, particularly in YA. They’re either absentee or oblivious if they’re not actively antagonistic toward their children’s goals.

I’m not going to make this a “not all dads” thing, because you know how well that goes over. But! I’m stumped as far as great literary dads—Atticus Finch? Clearly loved his daughter, but his views on race, seen from the prism of decades later, are complicated, at best.

So, I want to do something different! I want to find more great dads in fiction—and I hope you’ll point me in the right direction. Leave your suggestions in the comments. I would love to add to my to-read list. Thanks!


6 thoughts on “#BookADay 15: Favourite fictional dad

  1. The Great Santini …. I KID! …

    I don’t think it is really fair to judge Atticus harshly – he is a man of his time, and while things have progressed for us, he stands in one time and place, and for that time – he was a pretty hands on Dad who clearly loved and had great affection for his children which wasnt too common then. However, he is not my choice, I would go with Joe Gargery from Great Expectations, Pip sickened me when he was cruel to him … marika

    • I had hoped “seen from the prism of decades later” would offer some context. Still, I would be interested in reading reviews of the book written at the time, especially by reviewers or readers of color, who could perhaps give a more nuanced read on how Atticus’s views were interpreted at the time than we’re capable of now.

      Never did read Great Expectations; adding it to the list!

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