"There are few subjects richer than fatherhood. I won’t lie, the first time I heard someone use the phrase fatherhood fiction or dick-lit (it was Greg Olear, a couple years ago when Fathermucker was happening), I snorted a little bit. This, of course, is the reaction of a non-father, of a son who admittedly believes that being a dad isn’t all that complicated. Then I read this manuscript. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, other than that I knew two of the authors pretty well and loved their stuff. So I read, and kept reading, and I laughed, and I felt my chest tighten with anxiety, and I might have even cried. How wrong I was.
Four Fathers, and each of its authors, delivers fatherhood in a multitude of thought-provoking, heartfelt ways: from Tom Williams’ pair of long short stories which define a man by who he is as a son in relation to his father, and who he is as a father in relation to his son; to BL Pawelek’s poetry, dedicated to his daughter, Abbey Road. Then you have Ben Tanzer's flash fiction pieces, which all seem to reflect up on the idea of "I'm a dad…what the heck do I do now?" and Dave Housley's novella begging the Osbornesque question "What the f*** is a 'Bieber?'" There are moments of absolute sweetness, and moments of perversity. There are points where you’ll want to laugh out loud, but you’ll stop once you realize you’re only laughing at yourself, your own fears, your own misgivings about what it means to be a dad."