Alysia Abbott's mother liked it that her husband was bi and sometimes picked out guys for him. She also had extra flings, but she died when Alysia was two; suddenly Steve, enjoying the golden age of gay sex in San Francisco, had to raise a daughter on his own. He got aids and died before she turned 22 in 1992. Their twenty years together are the subject of her brand new memoir Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father [Kindle].
Earlier this week Alysia got the whole hour on Fresh Air.
Edmund White: “A vivid, sensitively written account of a complex but always loving relationship. This is not only a painfully honest autobiography but also a tribute to old-fashioned bohemian values in a world that is increasingly conformist and materialistic. I couldn't put it down!”
Alison Bechdel: “Generous, precise, and deeply moving, Fairyland is a love story that not only brings a new generational perspective to a history we’re in danger of forgetting, but irrevocably shifts the way we think about family itself.”
Dani Shapiro: “At once a father-daughter love story, a testament to survival, a meditation on profound loss, and a searing chronicle of a complex coming of age, Fairyland is a beautiful, haunting book that instructs, even as it breaks our hearts.”
Honor Moore: “In Alysia Abbott’s gorgeous account of her 1980s San Francisco childhood, a whimsical gay poet becomes an intelligent father, his motherless daughter a forceful and articulate young woman, and a rich, dizzy fairyland is shuttered by a plague. As a chronicle of the moment when the San Francisco of Armistad Maupin became the city of Harvey Milk, when gay and experimental poetry flourished in California, Fairyland is vivid and indelible. As the portrait of a conspiracy of love between a father and a daughter, it is heartrending, a brilliant addition to the literature of American memoir.”