A MUST-READ for all new parents, Love, Dad explores what it means to be a father in the 21st century.
The father of two young boys, Laurie Steed reflects on how his own experiences have defined the kind of man he is and the kind of parent he would like to become.
His stories – triumphant, funny and sad – draw on his own childhood experiences and important relationships with family and mates, alongside the challenges of trauma and mental health shared by many men.
This memoir openly shares how Steed strove to overcome challenges – from breaking generational cycles to maintaining joy in work and parenthood – and how others fresh to parenting can learn from this authentic story of a new dad and his family.
Steed was born in Hamilton, New Zealand and moved to Perth with his family when he was nine years old.
His fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in anthologies including Best Australian Stories and Award-Winning Australian Writing.
He is the author of You Belong Here, published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, and Greater City Shadows, which was shortlisted for the 2022 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and will be published by UWA Publishing in 2024.
Love, Dad was drafted in two weeks at Varuna, The Writers House, in Katoomba during a two-week fellowship.
Steed revised and further developed the work over the following 18 months, and it will be published in August 2023 by Fremantle Press.
“I was born in New Zealand in a family of four kids,” Steed said.
“My family, in fact, have all been storytellers for a fairly long time.
“My sister is a blues musician, my eldest brother makes horror metal music, my next eldest brother is a talented but no longer practising graffiti artist, and my mother was an actress who was one of the earliest members of Playback Theatre here in Western Australia.
“Love, Dad is the first manuscript where I was able to show up as myself.
“I did that primarily inspired by so many present, caring dads I saw out in the real world.
“Dads sometimes get a bad rap in mainstream media, so I wanted to write a book about a real dad, rather than a trope or stereotypical version.
“In writing my book, I hoped other caring, sometimes sensitive dads would see themselves, and be proud of all they are, and all the ways they’re raising kinder, calmer sons.
“I’m currently writing my next novel about a group of outsiders finding hope and heart together on the streets of Los Angeles.
“After that, I’ll return to non-fiction where I want to map a more practical path for a kinder, calmer, more accepting kind of masculinity and a way for men to better band together to make change for masculinity that flows out into the greater society.”
by Ariana Rosenberg