“Daddy Time All the Time”: Representations of Involved Fatherhood in Contemporary Dadoirs

  • Elizabeth Podnieks


Since the late twentieth century, motherhood memoirs, or momoirs, have become a staple of the literary marketplace. These matrifocal texts, written in the mother’s own voice, are a vital addition to a tradition of both fictional and nonfictional narratives about the mother figure delivered from the adult child’s point of view. The mother’s recent breakthrough into textual subjectivity has inspired—and been complemented by—a proliferation of patrifocal stories. While Andre Gerard identifies a historical trajectory, from the seventeenth century to the present, of what he calls the “patremoir,” an “essay, poem, play or film built around memories of the authors father,” the early twenty-first century has generated a new genre, which I will call the dadoir2: memoirs about fatherhood written by fathers themselves.3 The emergence of the dadoir coincides with, just as it contributes to, our dramatically increasing preoccupation with paternal identity and experience within all spheres of society. At the same time, the dadoir takes its place alongside the socially mediated life writings and performances of blogs, talk shows, and reality TV that have spread since the 1990s on. Through their narratives of confession, self-revelation, and overexposure, these genres accentuate our millennial obsession with the self while blurring, with ethical impunity, public and private lines.


Maternity Leave Border Crossing Hegemonic Masculinity Birth Mother Internet Porn 
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© Elizabeth Podnieks 2016

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  • Elizabeth Podnieks

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