Daddy knows best

Author makes big splash in Forbes with a little help from her pa.


Katharine Mieszkowski
September 6, 2007 10:36PM (UTC)

Here's one guaranteed to make authors struggling to get press for their books gnash their teeth in frustration: James Brady has written a gushing column for Forbes about Susan Konig, pegged to the publication of her second book: "I Wear the Maternity Pants in This Family." (The column's a little old, but too rich to pass up.)

Brady lavishly praises Konig's juggling of career and child rearing, kicking off with: "It's always a good story: A talented young mother gets off the Manhattan fast-track to stay home with the kids and still manages to craft a successful media career." You don't say? "Who is this stay-at-home 'red hot mama'?" wonders Brady. Don't worry, he's about to tell us.

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The columnist goes on to relive Konig's career highlights at the Washington Post and Seventeen magazine, before she went freelance when she started having kids; she now has four. He notes that her first book, "Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road (and Other Lies I Tell My Children)," about motherhood made USA Today go "bonkers," comparing her to Erma Bombeck. Bonkers!

"Susan got some attractive magazine offers, but she had the kids, and couldn't, or wouldn't, swap them for a job in Manhattan, no matter how good -- the classic case of a professional woman trying to work from home. But could she pull it off?" wonders Brady. The answer: You betcha! And so on. The kicker to this piece of puffery: Konig is one of Brady's daughters.

I suppose it's nice that someone's father approves of all the life choices she has made, but I found this column nauseating, and I'm not even an author trying to promote a little-noticed book. I wasn't the only one irked by this big wet kiss from Daddy, either. See Rachel Sklar's sharp take at the Huffington Post here.

Note to Brady: Next time you write a love letter to your adult daughter in the guise of a column, warn readers at the top that that's the saccharine swamp they're wading into.


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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