My Father’s Closet
by Karen A. McClintock
Ohio State University Press. 256 pages, $29.95
WRITING in a recent issue of The New Yorker, Daniel Mendelsohn describes taking a trip with his elderly father. In the article, he remarks: “Our parents are mysterious to us in ways that we can never quite be mysterious to them.” What Mendelsohn means, I think, is that, while we are in full view of our parents as we grow up, our parents are only revealed to us little by little as we mature and make discoveries about them, often at the same time as we are making discoveries about ourselves.
Making discoveries—sometimes unwanted ones—is the subject of McClintock’s memoir, My Father’s Closet.