I’m honored to be moderating a discussion with Tim O’Brien, who, as host Boswell Books explains, is the “National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried, [here in Milwaukee to share] his first book in more than two decades, a collection of wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humor, and rewards of raising two sons.
“Tickets cost $29, and include admission, a signed copy of Dad’s Maybe Book, and all tax and fees, available at timobrienmke.bpt.me. There’s also an early bird special, where you can get the ticket for $24, still including all taxes and fees, if you purchase it by August 31.
“In 2003, already an older father, O’Brien resolved to give his young sons what he wished his own father had given to him - a few scraps of paper signed “Love, Dad.” Maybe a word of advice and some scattered glimpses of their rapidly aging father, a man they might never really know. For the next fifteen years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living.
“O’Brien traverses the great variety of human experience and emotion, moving from soccer games to warfare to risqué lullabies, from alcoholism to magic shows to history lessons to bittersweet bedtime stories, but always returning to a father’s soul-saving love for his sons. The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, a funny, tender, wise, and enduring literary achievement that will squeeze the reader’s heart with joy and recognition.
“Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013.”