“I can never remember my dreams, so Mr. Yourgrau’s stories are a pretty good substitute.” David Byrne
Barry Yourgrau’s imagination makes critics reach: Fellini? Kafka? Freud in a funny hat? Yourgrau is a fantasist like no other. His stories run brief and hallucinatorily vivid in style, heart-jarring and intimate in emotion. As Susan Cheever puts it: “Odd, true, and thoroughly hilarious.”
Here is Barry Yourgrau’s celebrated second book, which focuses his transfiguring surreal imagination on our most personal institution: family. Wearing Dad’s Head constructs an oedipal uproar of genres and realities, preserving the wild poetry and pathos of childhood, young and old. Dream awake in the Yourgrau domestic universe, where father and son go on safari in the suburbs, mother has fun being struck by lightning, a cow gets dolled up in lingerie, and a family ghost whines on and on about a tweed coat. Where parents die but just won’t go away. No other writer today can twist reality with such glee and tender-hearted poignancy. Wearing Dad’s Heada classic of its own genrewill undoubtedly enchant and stupefy readers.
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|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Barry Yourgrau is a writer and performance artist. He is also the author of Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act as well as A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane, Haunted Traveller, and The Sadness of Sex, which was adapted into a movie in which he stars. He and his work have appeared on MTV’s Unplugged: Spoken Word and NPR’s All Things Considered and Selected Shorts, among others. He lives in New York and Istanbul.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Picture this. A young man¿s father is dead. One day the father appears, emerging naked from a large soap bubble, to visit his son. After the visit, the father leaves, again via soap bubble. The story is called (you guessed it!) ¿Soap Bubble¿. It is a total of two paragraphs long.Strange? That¿s almost exactly what all of the stories in this thin volume are like. Most of the stories involve the narrator and the use of first-person story-telling. Many of the stories concern the narrator along with his mother, his father, or sometimes both. Occasionally, there¿s an attractive young woman in the stories. The writing is good, but there are so many stories which are so bizarre that, after a while, they all seem to blend into one another and not much stands out. There are two stories, though, which did stand out for me. In the ¿Animals¿, the narrator¿s father turns into a gorilla while his mother turns into llama. In ¿Safari¿, the longest and best story, the narrator and his dad go on a safari on their front lawn. I¿ve never read a book quite like this one. The size of the stories are more or less those of flash fiction and mostly completed within a page or two. Of other authors I've read, I¿d most compare Yourgrau¿s writing style to that of the Israeli author Etgar Keret. If you like reading something different, I¿d say give this book a try. Even if you end up not favoring it that much, it won¿t take long to read through its total of 127 pages.
Wearing Dad's Head is an entertaining collection of stories in the unique style of Barry Yourgrau: one or two page short stories that read like dreams. It doesn't quite reach the greatness that A Man Jumps out of an Airplane does, but if you liked that book, you'll probably like this one too.