Passionate Attachments: Fathers and Daughters in America Today
“Like Nancy Friday’s My Mother, My Self, Passionate Attachments combines a personal journey, the voices of interviewees and sociological analysis. Like Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, it is an exorcism of sorts--a hope that giving the paternal ghosts a local habitation and a name will keep them from dancing quite so wildly inside the author’s psyche.
“The core of the book is Signe Hammer’s relationship with her own father. Like Jacob with the angel, she searches for the truths about their relationship...The tale...is compelling. She invokes in the reader of either sex the constellation of feelings and hurts, surprises and delights, in the word ‘Daddy.’
“Her interviews...illustrate conflicts and resolutions. There are loving, supportive fathers with vibrant, self-directed daughters. There are daughters hamstrung by paternal directives: Learn to use a gun, but don’t own one; get straight A’s, but let me take care of you. Ms. Hammer also talks to victims of emotional impoverishment and incest.”
“The point of this book...is to help women see how their fathers influenced them.”