The Atlantic

The Joy of Writing a Book With My Dad

For much of my life, he has told me we should work on a book together. When we finally did, it was more rewarding than I could have imagined.
Source: Callahan / Olena Yakobchuk / Jacob Lund / Shutterstock / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

When I tell people I wrote a book with my dad, they usually look at me with a mixture of curiosity and pity. Some confess they could never imagine doing that. Others ask how it went, in the same hushed tone you use at funerals. But one writing student of mine, who is several decades older and seemingly far wiser than I am, responded differently.

“It must be nice to think of the legacy you created with someone who means so much to you,” she said.

This was a beautiful sentiment, but it was not the way I, or my dad, ever thought about the collaboration.

Over the past few years, we wrote about the science behind the potential health benefits of fun behaviors such as drinking coffee, eating bread, and is not the word either of us uses to describe the process.

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