The Bill from My Father

We are all indebted to our parents, but in Bernard Cooper’s case, the debt is literal. When he was 28, his father, a famously litigious attorney who sued two of his widowed daughters-in-law, presented him with a $2 million bill for raising him. Nevertheless, Cooper spent more than 10 years trying to bond with his difficult and increasingly erratic dad for this tragicomic memoir, The Bill From My Father, ”a chronicle of noncommunication.” Their conversations were like ”two men racing each other on stationary bikes,” but unveiled a family history plagued by tragedy and dysfunction. While Cooper never breaches his father’s surliness, his Sedaris-like tellings of Dad’s quixotic adventures — such as the time he attacked the water-meter reader with a potato peeler — uncover love even in the most somber and embarrassing of circumstances.

The Bill from My Father
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