Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son's Search for His
"Powerful and moving.
Spencer writes like a bruised angel."
Hawthorne Deming, author of The Colors of
Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World
and Writing the Sacred Into the Real
Rattlesnake Daddy paints a wonderfully vivid
portrait of a chaotic, colorful, venomous man who
was the author’s absent father.
author of Between Panic and Desire and
The Accidental Buddhist
“A father is the
mystery his son never solves,” Spencer writes. But
in this haunted and haunting memoir/detective story,
he comes as close as he can without actually
crawling into his father’s rattlesnake skin.
Hemley, author of Do-Over! and Nola: A
Memoir of Faith, Art, and
Rattlesnake Daddy is unforgettable for its
clear-sighted contemplation of the sins of the
father, and in their wake, the complicated yearnings
of the son.
—Lee Martin, author of From Our House and The Bright
Rattlesnake Daddy is
amazing. Alternately horrifying, funny, analytical,
and heart-wrenching, it skillfully and affectingly
tells a father-son story like none I've ever
encountered: of a cruel and menacing psychopath who
managed to seem not just sane but admirable, and of
a son who overcame endless varieties of torture to
write this stunning memoir of good riddance. Out of
what Brent Spencer calls his father's "catalogue of
mysteries," he has crafted a literary form of
exorcism that is nothing less than a masterpiece.
—Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of
Jesse James by the Coward Robert
A Son's Search for His Father
Backwaters Press, 2011