BT: Do you think it’s possible to write pieces such as you have for this collection and not think about your own father and you relationship with him?
TW: Right now, at the risk of sounding schmaltzy, it’s the best it’s ever been, my relationship with my dad. But what’s particular to it is that we never had an easy relationship before. Here’s why, I think: My dad grew up without a father and in being my father he had no one clearly to model himself after. Now he’s a grandfather and it’s different: he did have a grandfather (even though that gentleman, my great-grandfather, was born in the 19th Century). And I’d have to say he’s warmed to the role of grandpa far better than I have as a dad.
But looking forward, and spinning off far from your question, Ben, I’m projecting into a future where my son has a son and how he’s got so much more to look back to for guidance. Not just me, but my dad. His stories. I hope I’m around then. And if I’m not, I hope Finn shares with his son my stories (the ones in this book and the ones I’ve told him), and my dad’s stories.