Saturday, January 9, 2010

Her Father's Daughter

"Who's the Daddy?" is a question most often posed in paternity episodes of the Maury Povich show (not that I've ever watched it) or in the pages of celebrity rags discussing the newest "baby bumps" in Hollywood (not that I ever read them while standing in line at the grocery store). "Who's the Daddy" is also a fitting turn of words for a host of fiction and non-fiction books. I uncovered no less than 17 books in the D.C. Library catalog with the title, The [insert occupation here]'s Daughter.

For example:

The Calligrapher's Daughter
The Doctor's Daughter
The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter
The Alchemist's Daughter
The Professor's Daughter
The Agitator's Daughter
The Impostor's Daughter
The Fat Man's Daughter

You'll find these titles in our new "Who's the Daddy?" display. Of course there was a time when one's patrilineal descent meant everything. It can still carry great influence (see Bush 41 and 43), or serve as another type of transformative force in one's life, as President Obama has described through his tenuous relationship with his own father. The father/daughter memoirs here also have fascinating stories to tell. In The Agitator's Daughter, a Georgetown University law professor recounts growing up in a family of civil rights activists that goes back four generations, and the family ruin brought about by her father's relentless pursuit of justice. In the graphic novel The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir, the narrator tells how she grew up in awe of her war veteran father, only to discover later that his stories of heroism and adventure were lies.

The daughters in these books remain nameless until you flip open their covers. Come and check one out!

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