What does Father’s Day mean to you?
TA: I have five children and three grandchildren, so I really enjoy Father's Day. I get spoilt a little, for only one day a year, so I savour it. I enjoy the day so much that in 2009 I published a collection of stories, Father's Day.
Have you been gifted a book for Father’s Day? If yes, could you tell us about it?
TA: I'm often gifted books. One year I was given Island: The Collected Stories by Alistair Macleod for Father's Day. I already had a copy but kept the secret to myself. Island is not only my favourite book of short stories but my all-time best fiction read.
What books would you recommend/would you like to receive for Father’s Day this year?
TA: I'm really looking forward to Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle, which is released around Father's Day this year, in early September. I think Whitehead is one of the best contemporary writers going around. I would also recommend Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women, another great short story collection by one of the best. Her writing is tough, funny and with such a distinct voice.
What’s your favourite reading memory with your children?
TA: We spent many, many years reading a very funny and slightly disturbing (in the best way) children's book, Albert Comes Back. We read it so often my children could recite it by heart. The book was lost for many years but turned up recently. It is a family treasure.
Why should someone gift your book this Father’s Day?
TA: If anyone were to gift my new story collection, Dark As Last Night, the lucky reader would discover that families are loving, crazy, dangerous and absolutely vital to our sense of self as a community.
Dark As Last Night by Tony Birch is available in store and online now.