Short story: “His Other Fathers”

by look i have opinions

“His Other Fathers,” by Michael Byers

Appeared in issue #167 of One Story, August 1st, 2012; read the opening and buy here

(I’ll take a stab at the word count later)

I liked this story, though it felt slight to me. I’m not a big fan of bildungswhatevers. To me personally, they tend to be both embarrassing and disappointing, perhaps because I have no particular affection or patience for my own past self, let alone other people’s, and I can’t identify with the grown-up contentment of the endings.

Byers points out in his author’s interview thing that the “paltriness” of the surrogate father interactions is deliberate and has a lot to do with Paul being an editor, somebody who pieces things together into a narrative. On reflection, it’s also pretty funny.