Today, 200,000 daughters around the world will be born. Some will
never know their fathers. Others will wish they didn't. And still
others will grow to treasure the men who helped nurture them into
womanhood. At 52, author Kevin Renner slowly came to realize that
he wasn't the father he'd hoped for his two daughters, then nine
and thirteen. After graduate school and a seemingly successful
management career, his life began to unravel. His professional life
was an excruciating mix of corporate politics amidst economic
instability. His marriage was strained. How, he asked himself, must
his presence within his family be shaping his daughters? What did
he have left to teach them, he wondered? Was it too late? Was he
doing OK, or simply deluding himself? What did they need from him
that they weren't getting, and might long for in adulthood? And
what does great fathering of daughters look like, anyway?Faced with
these questions, the author spent a year interviewing 50 women from
around the world to understand how men unknowingly set their
daughters' lives on trajectories that soar, sink, or drift. The
women were young and old, growing up during The Great Depression,
World War II, Vietnam, Watergate, and into the 1990s. They were
rich and poor, successful and marginalized-among them a state
supreme court justice, a doctor, a psychotherapist, professional
athletes, and former executives, as well as a sex worker, former
drug addicts, the unemployed, and a woman who had been homeless.
They were straight, lesbian, and transgender. They were from Iran,
Liberia, China, the U.S., Mexico, Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia,
India, and places in between. Among them was Katie, whose father
had been abusing her from an early age. She had lived in a fog of
drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and had given up her children.
She hit rock-bottom after working as a stripper, churning through
five marriages, and attempting suicide three times.Blanca, on the
other hand, drew a long straw in her father. He brought his family
from Mexico to the U.S. to educate his daughters while he worked as
a field laborer and landscaper. Blanca honored his sacrifice by
completing a law degree at Santa Clara University and an MBA at
Berkeley. She now works as honorary U.S. consul to Mexico. In
Search of Fatherhood includes two-dozen other stories, among them:
*Wendy, who loved her single father so dearly she proposed to him
at age four.*Kim, who is transgendered and spent her childhood
imprisoned in a boy's body, became best friends with her father in
adulthood.*Kara, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, whose
father was killed by a drunk driver a week before she turned
four.*Courtney, whose father sexually abused her until age 12, when
she turned his German Luger on him.*Luna, a former drug addict, who
earns her living as a sex worker while raising a daughter and
hoping for a better life.Renner speaks to audiences and blogs on
the lessons he's learned for fathers and daughters at
Kevin-renner.com. In Search of Fatherhood has been featured on
dozens of nationally syndicated and major market programs around
the country, including NPR, CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC Television and
radio affiliates, as well as The Oprah Winfrey Radio Network, WGN
Chicago, and Charter Local Edition / CNN Headline News.
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