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On the fraught bonds between daughters and their fathers, women and the patriarchywomen patriarchy
In this beguiling, incisive book, critically acclaimed writer Katherine Angel examines the place of fathers in contemporary culture with her characteristic mix of boldness and nuance, asking how the mixture of love and hatred we feel toward our fathers—and patriarchal father figures—can be turned into a relationship that is generative rather than destructive.
Moving deftly between psychoanalysis from Freud to Winnicott, cultural visions of fathering from King Lear to Ivanka Trump, and issues from incest to MeToo, Angel probes the fraught bond of daughters and fathers, women and the patriarchal regime. What, she asks, is this discomfiting space of love and hate—and how are we to reckon with both fealty and rebellion?
As in her earlier book Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, Angel proves herself to be one of the most perceptive feminist writers at work today.
About the Author
Katherine Angel is the author of Daddy Issues: Love and Hate in the Time of Patriarchy, Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, and Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell. She teaches creative and critical writing at the University of London, and her writing has appeared in Granta, The White Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.
“This is a brave and brilliant book by one of the most insightful and articulate writers at work today. Katherine Angel is unafraid to look head on at the forgotten figure in feminism’s critique of patriarchy: the father. All of us, daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, are enriched by confronting these libidinal energies, these daddy issues at the centre of all of our lives.” —Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse
“One of our most daring, exciting and nuanced writers.” —Deborah Levy, author of Real Estate
“A timely, necessary work from one of our most vital thinkers. Moving with ease across psychoanalysis, popular culture and literary criticism, weaponising the thought of Woolf, Winnicott and Solanas, Daddy Issues flips the familial script and takes aim at all our Daddies: domestic, cultural, patriarchal, even presidential. The result is a wincingly perceptive, deeply engaged book, one that takes us into the dark heart of a cultural fixation, then shows us, with deep care and empathy, the way back out.” —Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion
“In this probing and erudite essay, Katherine Angel asks ‘Is it ever possible to get rid of the father, or is he forever internalised?’ Angel traces the many ways that culture and life reflect the needs of father figures over and above those of ‘daughters,’ and how through both imagination and collective attention, we can begin to see and dismantle some of this power. A beautiful and necessary read.” —Emilie Pine, author of Notes to Self
“In this impressive and intelligent examination of the father figure, Angel expertly intersects the subject with feminism, mythology, Donald Winnicott, Brett Kavanaugh and more. Her unstinting eye and intellectual vigour make Daddy Issues an engaging interrogation. It feels utterly vital in the context of #MeToo and the political flux the world currently finds itself in.” —Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations: Reflections from Life
“A brilliant investigation into the father figure in culture that is also a powerful intervention in the #MeToo debate. Through it all, I think, sounds a call to be present for each other, attentive and open, willing to work for each other’s full personhood.” —Adam Foulds, author of The Quickening Maze
“In Daddy Issues, Katherine Angel holds the image of the father in a steady, critical gaze, generating both questions and hesitations, and opening up a vital space in which to challenge how power works in the family.” —David Hayden, author of Darker with the Lights On
“Effortlessly moving from the novels of Virginia Woolf to the theories of psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Angel demonstrates a sharp intellectual acuity in her elucidation of the cultural mythos surrounding ‘daddies.’ The result is a valuable contribution to the feminist understanding of fatherhood.” —Publishers Weekly
“In this cheekily titled feminist analysis, author Katherine Angel dissects the patriarchy with a sharp combination of individual psychology and cultural critique. An exciting follow-up to Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again.” —Alison Foreman, AV Club
“Katherine Angel’s astute observations on the impact of the #MeToo movement, the retrenchment of feminism by younger women, and our current state of gender relations is compelling.” —Roberta E. Winter, New York Journal of Books
“An examination of our often prurient fascination with the dynamic, and that fascination’s inherent misogyny. [Angel’s] thought-provoking approach is to argue that our society has overlooked the place of daddies in ‘daddy issues.’ To prove the point, she dexterously analyzes a variety of literary works, historical figures like Virginia Woolf’s father, Leslie Stephen, and contemporary tabloid examples, like Meghan Markle and Ivanka Trump.” —Annie Hamilton, New York Times Book Review