I can hear you asking, “What’s the point of this letter, Dad?” Maybe the letter is just an experiment in time travel, an opportunity for you to reach back across the decades to know your father’s heart and mind at a specific moment during your childhood. Or maybe it’s about our collective identity: Who am I with you? Who am I apart from you? If I get lucky and die at a reasonable old age, you will be approximately the same age I am now when you finally read this. I like the symmetry of that possibility, especially if you have children, and you’re in the throes of trying to be a not-so-terrible parent yourself.
Click here to watch the recording of my recent Zoom book reading and Q&A:
Moss Kaplan (once a circus clown) artfully juggles insight, memory, and humor as he tries to understand his disappointing father and strives to do better with his own exhausting, astonishing son. In doing so, Kaplan shows us a lot about what it means to be a good man.
—Stephen Trimble, co-author of The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places
In the short space of this letter to his son, Kaplan offers up a sincere meditation on the paradoxes of fathering, masculinity, fear of a collapsing world, and the universal desire to overcome our demise by instilling in the next generation a reverence for transient beauty.
—Gint Aras, author of Relief by Execution