How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

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We all know the narrative of the good father. That’s the father we all want, but it’s not the father we all got. For those of us who weren’t so lucky, Father’s Day is a fraught and complicated day. In this episode, the Sugars take two questions on fatherhood — from a new father who fears that his depression will be felt by his baby daughter, and from a young woman who yearns for a deeper connection with her distant father.

The writer Sherman Alexie joins the Sugars to discuss fatherhood and the ways in which he still finds himself seeking connection with his now-deceased father, with whom he had a troubled but powerful relationship.

Show notes

[0:16] “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” Nina Simone, 1967.

[8:52] Popeye, “I Yam What I Yam,” 1933.

[10:21] “10 Ways I Killed My Infant Daughter Within Her First 72 Hours Of Life,” Steve Almond, “(Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, And Obsessions,” 2008.

[11:01] “Good enough parent,” D.W. Winnicott, “The Child, the Family, and the Outside World,” 1973.

[13:00] “How Much Light,” Ryan Adams, “I Do Not Feel Like Being Good,” 2015.

[19:04] “You cannot convince people to love you. That is an absolute rule,” Cheryl Strayed, “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar,” 2012.

[24:53] “My father and I had an exchange…,” Cheryl Strayed, Dear Sugar, “Rumpus Advice Column #55: The Empty Bowl,” November 2010.

[28:38] “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” Sherman Alexie, 1993.

[29:20] “Blasphemy: New And Selected Stories,” Sherman Alexie, 2013.

[36:42] “Smoke Signals,” film, screenplay by Sherman Alexie, 1998.

[37:03] “Forgiving Our Fathers,” Dick Laurie, “Smoke Signals,” YouTube.

Full episodes of Dear Sugar Radio are released weekly.

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