Wolf at the Table

I came to Augusten Burroughs work through Dry, a memoir about his struggle with alcoholism, which is somehow both heartfelt and funny. Then I read Running with Scissors, his quirky coming-of-age story. Wolf at the Table is completely different from the earlier works, exploring Mr. Burroughs’ relationship with his father, an emotionally distant alcoholic. It would be an understatement to say Mr. Burroughs finds his father lacking: His bitterness is so palpable, the book is hard to read.

I love memoirs that explore fatherhood. In the 50s and 60s, fathers were almost always depicted as good and wholesome. As I kid, I could see my old man didn’t add up. How could he? Those depictions had little to do with reality. Nothing bad about Dad was every explored. Now we get something like Wolf at the Table, but this father is so clearly and irredeemably bad, it’s almost like a throw back to thin view of fathers from the 50s and 60s (albeit the other side of the coin). Burroughs father is as bad as Father Knows Best is good. How’s the for coming full circle?

You have to feel bad for any adult lugging around so much resentment from childhood. One good thing about being a rebellious child: With my family, I always managed to keep the resentment ledgers pretty even. If you give as good as you get, you never have to feel bitter.

Tagged , , ,

One thought on “Wolf at the Table

  1. Tim Elhajj says:

    This is a test.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: