Daddy Issues

Daddy Issues

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by Katherine Angel

An essay on fathers and feminism

In the wake of #MeToo, we have begun to talk more openly about the widespread harm inflicted by men on women. But little has been said about the fact that many of these men are also fathers.

Bold, challenging and nuanced, Daddy Issues examines the place of fathers in contemporary culture and asks how the mixture of love and hatred we feel towards our fathers can be turned into a relationship that is generative rather than destructive. If we are to effectively dismantle patriarchy, it is vital that fathers are kept on the hook.

Praise for Daddy Issues

‘A timely, necessary work from one of our most vital thinkers. Moving with ease across psychoanalysis, popular culture and literary criticism, weaponising the thought of Woolf, Winnicott and Solanas, Daddy Issues flips the familial script and takes aim at all our Daddies: domestic, cultural, patriarchal, even presidential. The result is a wincingly perceptive, deeply engaged book, one that takes us into the dark heart of a cultural fixation, then shows us, with deep care and empathy, the way back out.’ – Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion

‘This is a brave and brilliant book by one of the most insightful and articulate writers at work today. Katherine Angel is unafraid to look head on at the forgotten figure in feminism’s critique of patriarchy: the father. All of us, daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, are enriched by confronting these libidinal energies, these daddy issues at the centre of all of our lives.’ – Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London 

‘A brilliant investigation into the father figure in culture that is also a powerful intervention in the #MeToo debate. Through it all, I think, sounds a call to be present for each other, attentive and open, willing to work for each other’s full personhood.’ – Adam Foulds, author of The Quickening Maze 

‘In Daddy Issues, Katherine Angel holds the image of the father in a steady, critical gaze, generating both questions and hesitations, and opening up a vital space in which to challenge how power works in the family.’ – David Hayden, author of Darker with the Lights on

‘In this probing and erudite essay, Katherine Angel asks “Is it ever possible to get rid of the father, or is he forever internalised?” Angel traces the many ways that culture and life reflect the needs of father figures over and above those of “daughters”, and how through both imagination and collective attention, we can begin to see and dismantle some of this power. A beautiful and necessary read.’ – Emilie Pine, author of Notes to Self

‘In this impressive and intelligent examination of the father figure, Angel expertly intersects the subject with feminism, mythology, Donald Winnicott, Brett Kavanaugh and more. Her unstinting eye and intellectual vigour make Daddy Issues an engaging interrogation. It feels utterly vital in the context of #MeToo and the political flux the world currently finds itself in.’ – Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations: Reflections from Life