The Velveteen Father by Jesse Green
An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood

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Everything conspires against the single, childless man. Each new living thing in the world each day says: You are alone, and not getting younger.

At the age of thirty-seven, the journalist and novelist Jesse Green found his life dramatically changing when he met and fell in love with a man who had recently adopted a baby boy. Having long since made peace with his choice not to be a parent, Green now faced the shock and the responsibility of a fatherhood he had never imagined. The Velveteen Father is his candid, heartfelt, and often hilarious account of the formation and flourishing of a family.
In intimate, graceful prose, Green describes his partner's journey from the hedonistic eighties to the realization that he wanted to have a child; his own concurrent journey to find a way to become an adult without having a child; and their journey together to become good parents in a society whose reactions to unconventional families can be both funny and frightening.
In the classic bedtime story, a velveteen rabbit is made real at last by a child's true love. The Velveteen FatherM is a moving record of the transformative effect parenthood can have on people who least expect to become parents, of how we are repeatedly made anew by the love of children who need us. But this transformation is not just the province of parents, Green writes; only by addressing, in some way, the generations that come before and after us can we face the task of becoming real. The Velveteen Father will therefore interest anyone who has considered--or would consider--having a child.

About Jesse Green

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Jesse Green is a much-anthologized, award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine; his articles have also appeared in The New Yorker, New York, The Washington Post, Premiere, GQ, Philadelphia, Mirabella, and Out. His novel, O Beautiful, was called "one of the best first novels of the year" by Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City.
Published May 11, 1999 by Villard. 242 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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The responsibilities overwhelm and transform Green, who now feels somewhat alienated from those “gay men who remain single [and] make a kind of life’s work out of adolescence, their days filled with gossip, crushes, self-beautification.” Many back in the Village or the Hamptons don—t know why he ...

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A gay father's memoir, stranger and more powerful reading than the author's fictional work.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Velveteen Father: An Unex...

Publishers Weekly

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He also makes a number of astute observations, such as when he suggests that gay men's desire to parent is a reaction to the AIDS epidemic or when he assesses the initially negative reactions of both his and his lover's parents to gay men raising children.

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