The daughter of Steve Jobs provides an unvarnished look at their relationship.
Why I love it
BOTM Editorial Team
There are lots of books about Steve Jobs—about his career, his company, and the technology he invented that, NBD, has changed our world forever. If you’re looking for a detailed account of those things, there’s a book out there for you. But if what you really want is an inside look at the man himself, look no further than Small Fry, an intimate and absorbing memoir from his eldest daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
Lisa was just two years old when her father attempted to deny parentage. A lengthy lawsuit for child-support payments proved otherwise, but Lisa never fully earned a permanent place in her father’s orbit. Instead she came of age as a kind of nomad, moving from home to home while navigating the complicated dynamics of her atypical family.
Come for the revealing and unparalleled portrait of an infamous man (his hippie history, his distaste of watches, his stubborn refusal to lift his daughter from poverty), but stay for the beautiful sentences and the insightful meditations on love, family, and mental health. Because while Small Fry is a tell-all, it is more than anything a universal story of a daughter caught between the lives of her mother and father. It just so happens this daughter is coming of age at the margins of one of the biggest tech stories in history.
Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents—artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs—Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be.
Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs's poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents' fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.