Raising Raffi (eBook)

A Book about Fatherhood (For People Who Would Never Read Such a Book)

Keith Gessen

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'A wise, mild and enviably lucid book about a chaotic scene' – Dwight Garner, New York Times

'Memoirs of fatherhood are rarely so honest or so blunt' – Daniel Engber, Atlantic

'Raising Raffi is tender and generous' – New York magazine

Keith Gessen had always assumed that he would have kids, but couldn't imagine what parenthood would be like, nor what kind of parent he would be. Then, one Tuesday night in early June, Raffi was born, a child as real and complex and demanding of his parents' energy as he was singularly magical.

Fatherhood is another country: a place where the old concerns are swept away, where the ordering of time is reconstituted, where days unfold according to a child's needs. Like all parents, Gessen wants to do what is best for his child. But he has no idea what that is.

Written over the first five years of Raffi's life, Raising Raffi examines the profound, overwhelming, often maddening experience of being a dad. How do you instil in your child a sense of his heritage without passing on that history's darker sides? Is parental anger normal, possibly useful, or is it inevitably destructive? And what do you do, in a pandemic, when the whole world seems to fall apart? By turns hilarious and poignant, Raising Raffi is a story of what it means to invent the world anew.

Keith Gessen was born in Moscow in 1975 and came to the United States with his family when he was six years old. He is a co-founder of the literary magazine n+1 and the author of the novels All the Sad Young Literary Men and A Terrible Country. He has translated or co-translated several books from Russian, including Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich. He lives in New York with his wife, the author and publisher Emily Gould, and their two sons.

Gessen is a calm and observant writer if he were a singer, he'd always come in a bit behind the beat – who raises, and struggles with, the right questions about himself and the world

Dwight GarnerNew York Times

I didn't know I was waiting for a book like this until I read it. Raising Raffi is original, funny, and full of heartDaniel Alarcón, author of AT NIGHT WE WALK IN CIRCLES
My brother wrote a book about my nephew, and this book made me laugh and tear up. It's a book about love: the love of a father for his child, of course, and also the love of an adult son for his parents (our parents), the love an emigre feels for the language (Russian) and culture (Soviet Jewish emigre) of his home. It's a book about the way love makes us feel powerless one minute and strong the nextMasha Gessen, author of THE FUTURE IS HISTORY
Gessen offers both investigative probe and personal confession; he's both a critic and a dad… But it's one of the most honest accounts of the rage a parent can feel when personally victimized by their small children, even as they love those children with stupefying tenderness. I've never seen this reckoned with so candidly beforeMeghan FlahertySlate
His book proceeds as so many dad books don't: with a father's careful, piercing introspection Daniel EngberAtlantic

A raw, wry, introspective chronicle of the first five years of dad life… It raises profound questions about what it means to raise a boy when the old ways of being a man have been discredited and the new ones have yet to saturate. If you are a father, want to be a father, have a father, or are thinking of leaving the father of your children, then this book is for you

Anand Giridharadas, author of WINNERS TAKE ALL

Parents who have doubted themselves and tried to untangle the mystery of young humans-in other words, all parents-will recognise themselves in this vulnerable and finely wrought memoirMegan K. Stack, author of WOMEN'S WORK
Keith Gessen is one my favourite writers, and Raising Raffi brings to bear everything I love about him: his fierce intellect and fiercer compassion, his deep reflection and pitch-perfect humour. This fatherhood shit ain't easy, but Gessen might just help us make it throughAdam Mansbach, author of GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP
I would read Keith Gessen writing about anything but having his curiosity trained on the thorny, existential subject of parenthood is pure heaven. I read this book about the neurosis (and the joy!) of the 21st-century parent in a fugue state, grateful to Gessen for his humour and insightMeaghan O'Connell, author of AND NOW WE HAVE EVERYTHING


about this book

ISBN: 9781785789519

Price: 16.99 GBP

Pages: 176

Publication date: 16/06/2022


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