Talking Volumes: Tim O’Brien on ‘Dad’s Maybe Book’

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A man with a hat poses for a picture.
Author Tim O’Brien recently spoke with MPR’s Brandt Williams about “Dad’s Maybe Book” at Talking Volumes.
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A picture of a book cover with a blue background.
The jacket cover of author Tim O’Brien's latest effort “Dad’s Maybe Book.”
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Award-winning novelist Tim O'Brien came to fatherhood later in life and decided when his boys were young to start writing to them. He wrote to his sons as if they were adults - sharing bits of advice, lessons he learned in wartime and what it means to be a man in a culture of toxic masculinity. The finished result is "Dad's Maybe Book," a funny, tender and endearing volume of wisdom about the challenges and rewards of being a father to boys.

O'Brien, a Minnesota native, appeared on stage at the Parkway in October for a sold-out evening of Talking Volumes. On the next MPR News with Kerri Miller, we’ll air a portion of that conversation – including why O’Brien think it’s vital that boys are told they can say “I don’t know” and why he doesn’t think audiobooks can replace physical books.