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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
  • SubGenre:Parenting / Fatherhood
  • Language:English
  • Pages:400
  • eBook ISBN:9781483502854

The Fourth Demand

The Story of a Father and Son Journey

by Andy Solomon

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Soon after Andy Solomon became the single parent of his 2-year-old son Marty he put the toddler on his motorcycle’s gas tank, and they became motorcycle men. This life lasted seven years until a near-fatal accident when Marty was nine made Andy promise he’d never again put his son on a motorcycle. But they missed riding terribly and formed a plan: when Marty graduated college they would get new motorcycles and tour the entire country. When Marty graduated, they did just that: five weeks, 26 states, and over 9000 miles from Florida to the Pacific and back. This warm, perceptive account of that tour is on its surface a richly informative travel memoir, but at its heart it is the story of a devoted single parent raising his only child to adulthood and now letting him go.
Description
Soon after Andy Solomon became the single parent of his 2-year-old son Marty he put the toddler on his motorcycle’s gas tank, and they became motorcycle men. This life lasted seven years until a near-fatal accident when Marty was nine made Andy promise he’d never again put his son on a motorcycle. But they missed riding terribly and formed a plan: when Marty graduated college they would get new motorcycles and tour the entire country. When Marty graduated, they did just that: five weeks, 26 states, and over 9000 miles from Florida to the Pacific and back. This warm, perceptive account of that tour is on its surface a richly informative travel memoir, but at its heart it is the story of a devoted single parent raising his only child to adulthood and now letting him go. This memoir is filled with closely observed descriptions of the America they see and the colorful history of the places they travel. Laced between these vivid pictures, in the rhythm of a touring rider’s mind, are astute reflections on the nature of the man he’s raised, the forces that formed a boy whose mother was largely absent, what it takes to be a good parent, and how Andy has succeeded and failed in that role, as well as English professor Solomon’s thoughts on American college life today and what it takes to function in the contemporary academic world.
About the author
Andy Solomon was born in New York in the heart of Manhattan and grew to semi-maturity—the condition in which some contend he still languishes—in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. He attended Mt. Vernon public schools, and after setting the Mt. Vernon Little League record for most sprained thumbs by a catcher lettered in baseball, football, and basketball before going off to the University of Pittsburgh where he majored in psychology, English, and riotous undergraduate bacchanalia. He studied for a year in the clinical psychology doctoral program at SUNY—Buffalo before returning to Pittsburgh for his doctorate in English literature, specializing in Shakespeare. After the birth of his son, Marty, he moved to Florida and began teaching at the University of Tampa where he designed the creative writing major. Among his writing students were Steven Boyett (Ariel), Amy Hill Hearth (Having Our Say: the Delany Sisters’ First One Hundred Years), Connie May Fowler (Before Women Had Wings), Jen A. Miller (The Jersey Shore), Sean Manning (The Things That Need Doing), Daniel Springer (The Wilco Project) and many other authors, journalists, and editors. In the 1990s he left the writing program to become the university’s Shakespearean. He has been a laundry truck driver, a waiter, a bartender, a foundry worker, a horseback riding guide, Advanced Placement grader, and driven a Good Humor truck. He has written on Shakespeare, Twain, single parenting, motorcycling, and many other subjects, and his work has appeared in Shakespeare’s Late Plays, the Mark Twain Journal, the Atlantic, The American Theosophist, The Father’s Book, Boulevard, Contemporary Novelists, The New Orleans Review, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Encyclopedia of American Literature, Southern Quarterly, and Creative Nonfiction. A member of The National Book Critics Circle and finalist for its award for criticism, he has been book critic for The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, St. Petersburg Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio and many other outlets. He lives in Clearwater, Florida, across Tampa Bay from his son Marty, a partner in the Tampa law firm Carlton Fields.
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