Join us on Friday, June 2 at 7pm PT when Emerson Whitney celebrates the release of their new book, Daddy Boy, with Ingrid Rojas Contreras at 9th Ave!
Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online/Livestream link available soon
Praise for Daddy Boy
“Exquisitely-alive. After reading Daddy Boy, I feel so much more attuned to the complexities of the world.” —Patrick Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
“Hypnotic. It quivers with the air.” —Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door
“I am happy to go anywhere Emerson Whitney wants to take me.” —CAConrad
About Daddy Boy
In 2017, Emerson Whitney was divorcing the woman they’d been with for ten years—a dominatrix they called Daddy. Living in a tent in the backyard of their marital home, Emerson was startled to realize they didn’t know what it meant to be an adult. “We often look to our gender roles as a sort of map for aging,” they write. “I wanted to know what the process looked like without that: not man-ness, not-woman-ness.” Dizzied by this realization, they turned to an activity steeped in stereotypical masculinity: storm chasing.
Daddy Boy follows Emerson as they pack into a van with a rag-tag group of storm chasers and drive up and down tornado ally—from Texas to North Dakota—staying in motels and eating at gas stations and hunting down storms like so many white whales.
In heading with them to Texas, we return, too, to the only site of adulthood Emerson has ever known: their childhood. Interspersed throughout this trip are memories of dad—both Emerson’s stepdad, Hank, present and unflinching and extremely Texan; and their biological dad, who they hardly knew. With his cowboy hats and random girlfriends, he always seemed so sweet and lost.
Through these childhood vignettes, coupled with queer theory and weeks spent reading the clouds like oracles, wanting nothing more than to drive straight into the eye of a storm, Emerson frames these probing questions of manhood against the dusty, loaded background of the American West.
About Emerson Whitney
Emerson is the author of Daddy Boy (McSweeney’s 2023), Heaven (McSweeney’s 2020), and the poetry title, Ghost Box (Timeless Infinite Light, 2014). Emerson’s work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Kirkus, in a starred review, called Heaven “An incisive, nuanced inquiry into gender and body.” The Paris Review called Emerson “…a deft executor of their own unique style… a writer who guides with an intuitive vulnerability and honesty.” In a second review, Kirkus compared Emerson to Gertrude Stein, and said that they “energetically and incisively captures all of that complexity and more, demonstrating a kindred spirit to Stein’s but emerging with a voice all their own.” Emerson recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in gender studies at the University of Southern California and teaches in the BFA creative writing program at Goddard College
About Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was the silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor's choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. Rojas Contreras has received numerous awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She is a Visiting Writer at Saint Mary’s College. She is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds.
In 2017, Emerson Whitney was divorcing the woman they'd been with for ten years--a dominatrix they called Daddy. Living in a tent in the backyard of their marital home, Emerson was startled to realize they didn't know what it meant to be an adult. "We often look to our gender roles as a sort of map for aging," they write.
A finalist for the Believer Book Award
Emerson Whitney writes, "Really, I can't explain myself without making a mess." What follows is that mess-electrifying, gorgeous, defiant.
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • From the bestselling author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic memoir reclaiming her family's otherworldly legacy.