Fathers in Books

Happy Fathers Day! Here are some of the literary fathers whom I find very memorable:

Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
Reverend Maclean in A River Runs Though It by Norman Maclean
Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (not technically a father, but a close-enough father-figure, I think)
Bull Meechum in The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Dr. Murry in A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Jack Torrance in The Shining by Stephen King

Which memorable literary fathers would you add to the above list?

~Alicia Bessette

13 Replies to “Fathers in Books”

  1. There’s a children’s book called “I’ll Love You Forever” and in it, a mother sings a song with those words to her son as he grows up. Later, the son gets married and becomes a father. His Mom is now old and sick. And he lifts her into his arms and sings the same song to her as he rocks her, just as she did long ago. Makes me cry just thinking about it.

  2. I think the father in Jonathan Franzen’s THE CORRECTIONS is memorable and complex and interesting… good list and I second Bob Crachit!

  3. I actually had a hard time thinking of more literary dads. It seems like a lot of dad’s in literature are either not in the picture at all or not very involved. It’s a shame!

    I recently read Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” The novel is about a 9 year old, Oskar, who learns how to deal with the death of his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Throughout the novel, Oskar recounts happy times and conversations that he enjoyed with his dad, and it becomes very apparent by the end that his dad was a great father. (This is one of the few books that actually made me sob). Sometimes getting to know a character through another’s perspective is all the more powerful.

  4. Tonya: good one.

    Sarah: I know that book. Beautiful story & illustrations too.

    Kristina: Another good one. What is his name … Alfred or something like that?

    BD: interesting point!

  5. I got to The Shining and was like–what are you thinking, Alicia?? Then I reread your opening sentence and realized you said “memorable.” Whew! I thought you were going for *admirable*!

  6. The only one that came to mind was John Kinsella, the “he” in “If you build it, he will come” from Shoeless Joe. W.P. Kinsella writes great books, almost all have a baseball theme.

  7. Laughing at how we both agree the dad in THE CORRECTIONS is memorable but his name escapes us. I have the book handy right here. It’s Alfred Lambert. (Also memorable is his wife, Enid.)

  8. I know it’s too late to get a copy, which I had actually hoped to review for mine and Angela Cartwright’s magazine Pasticcio – but I’ve been out of town and away from my computer, alas.
    I still wanted to add a memorable father — not maybe the most admirable (he’s a “drunk” in the vernacular of the time) — but absolutely memorable none the less. Johnny Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

  9. He wasn’t really a father but he was the “father-figure” – Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter. You would have been disappointed if I hadn’t worked HP into the mix Alicia:-)0 Or (showing my age) Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Another “father-figure.”

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