Brian Gresko


An Interview with Brian Gresko, by Maria Gagliano

In honor of this father’s day week, I chatted with Brian Gresko, editor of the new essay collection When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood (Berkley Books/Penguin). The book is an amazing compilation of voices on fatherhood from all ends of the literary spectrum—from Lev Grossman, Rick Moody, and Benjamin Percy to Slice alum Alexi Zentner. It’s an impressive roster, to be sure, but Brian’s own introduction to the book is not to be overlooked. As a literary dad himself, Brian writes with heartbreaking clarity on the joys, confusion, and beautiful mess that is parenting.

I wish I could get every parent I know to read this book. Each essay is a unique reminder that no matter how lonely we may feel as parents, however badly we’ve felt we’ve messed up our kids, and however dark, corny, desperate, or ecstatic we may feel at times, we’re not alone in this. These guys assure us that we human parents are much more connected than we realize.

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