Lisa Brennan-Jobs lives in Brooklyn, and Small Fry is her first book. Her articles and essays have appeared in Vogue, Southwest Review, Massachusetts Review, Harvard Advocate, the Los Angeles Times and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Small Fry 4.8 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I read this from start to finish in one sitting, I could relate to the author in so many ways because my father was like Lisa’s in every way except rich and famous. She was definitely abused verbally growing up and how she still doesn’t see that now floors me. How children services were never called in her own father or own mother baffles me. Th family that took her in were God sends and at the end she didn’t acknowledge them.... why the hell not???? She wouldn’t of graduated Harvard without them paying her tuition her senior year! I hope Lisa still sees a therapist , it’s obvious she still suffers psychologically from the pain her father and mother caused her. The book was great but I feel like it should of been longer.
More than 1 year ago
The magnitude of both emotional cruelty and love experienced by the author is breathtaking. With the help of her mother and a few other key individuals, and, this reader suspects, an iron will, she became a strong, self-reliant, adult capable of creating a clear-eyed account of her tumultuous upbringing.
More than 1 year ago
It was a struggle to read this book. The writing is brilliant and luminous, but the story is hard. Lisa Brennan-Jobs grew up as the unexpected and often unacknowledged daughter of Steve Jobs and artist Chrisann Brennan. I'll admit, I'm not terribly interested in the personal lives of the rich and famous so I didn't know much about Steve Jobs going into this book. To say he was a difficult man is an understatement, to say he was cruel, emotionally distant and often emotionally abusive towards his daughter is closer to the truth.
In this book Lisa shares in exquisite and uncompromising detail, what it is like to grow up feeling abandoned and unwanted. Even her mother, who was a constant presence, was unable to provide the stability and emotional security a young child requires. Often as I was reading I wondered if Lisa was better off before her father acknowledged her rather than after she went to live with him. His ability to withdraw approval and affection were callous and calculated. He seems unable to connect emotionally with everyone around him, and his conversations and actions are often disconnected, if not wildly inappropriate.
Lisa's writing is poetic and filled with nostalgic images and experiences of what it was like to grow up in the 1980's. Her memories are sharp and vibrant, evoking a visceral response from the reader. Even while she speaks of the ambivalence of her relationship with her father and the turbulence of her relationship with her mother, she remains firmly rooted in place and time in which she grew up. Her sense of place and time shine throughout the memoir and are as much a part of the story as the people who inhabit it.
While this book isn't an easy read by any means, it is a worthy one. Brennan-Jobs writing genius is certainly equal to her father's technical expression. I look forward to reading more from this author.
I picked up the book for the obvious reasons but I kept reading because the writing transcended the Steve Jobs story. Lisa Brennan-Jobs's ability to evoke a memory, a feeling, a place, a person, an occurrence is exquisite. Her ability to capture the complexities of familial love, of parental love and of an individual is singular. The lurching emotions, the highest of highs, the lowest of lows when we are with the people we love the most (who also happen to be the people we wound and who wound us the most) is rendered with perfection. For the first time in a long time there was a book on my bedside table that was more captivating that my iPhone and although I couldn't put it down, I read it slowly because each beautiful sentence demanded attention and reflection. Her story is different from mine but it stirred up my childhood memories, emotional traumas and allowed me to observe and understand my past and present family life. Read this book - it is worthy of your time and attention.
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