A father and son travel across North America in a pick-up trucktalking, laughing, fighting, and bonding.
After years of thinking he’d never have kids, Lee Gutkind became a father at forty-seven and, following his divorce, soon found himself taking over more and more of the primary care responsibilities for his son, Sam. As one of a growing number of “old new dads” (recent studies have shown that one in ten children are born to fathers over forty), Gutkind realized that he faced challengesboth mental and physicalnot faced by younger dads, not the least of which was how to bond with a son who was so much younger than himself. For the past five years, Gutkind’s approach to this challenge has been to spend several weeks of every summer “truckin’” with Sam, a term they define as a metaphor for spontaneity, a lack of restriction: “Truckin’ means that you can what you want to do sometimes; you don’t always need to do what’s expected.”
What began as long, cross-country journeys in a pick-up truck, including one memorable trip up the Alaska-Canadian Highway en route to a writer’s conference in Homer, Alaska, have in more recent years ranged farther afield, to Europe, Australia, and Tibet. Whether listening to rock and roll music, entertaining themselves with their secret jokes and code words, fishing for halibut, or fighting over tuna fish sandwiches and how best to butter one’s toast, Lee and Sam have learned to respect one another. In the process of their travels and their adventures, Lee has also come to grips with the downside of middle age and the embarassment of “senior moments,” while Sam has inevitably begun to assert himself and shape his own life. Interspersed with Sam’s own observations and journal entries, Truckin’ with Sam is an honest, moving, and often hilarious account of one father’s determination to bond with his son, a spontaneous travelogue that will appeal to old dads, new dads, and women who want to know more about how dads (and sons) think and behave.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Lee Gutkind is Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University; founding editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction; and the author or editor of over a dozen books, including Almost Human: Making Robots Think; Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather; and The Art of Creative Nonfiction. His son, Sam Gutkind, is now a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University.