Lewis Nordan Explores Magical Bond Between Father and Son

   Still looking for a meaningful Father’s Day Gift? SLR contributor Sean Ennis shares the title that most impacted his role as both a son and a father:

    When I first read Lewis Nordan’s Music of the Swamp, I was just a son.  I laughed and cringed at the bungling of Mr. Mecklin–the well-intentioned lies he told his family, the misguided purchases, even his inadvertent murdering of the local pharmacist.  What persists in the collection is the unfailing love a son can have for his imperfect father who is trying so hard. 

     Now as a father myself, I read the collection with much more sympathy for Mr. Mecklin.  I’ve murdered no one, but I hope for the same forgiveness that young Sugar Mecklin affords his father, and hope for the same designation as “magic” from my own son. 

     Nordan, like many fathers, may be under-appreciated. It would shock me if any father or son couldn’t find themselves in these pages.

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“A boy’s utterly helpless love for his utterly hopeless father.”



  1. If I could raise a glass to any writer on Father’s Day, it would be Lewis Nordan. I’m always thinking of the line at the beginning of the book when Sugar (the son) sees his father at the breakfast table and is overcome with an inexplicable joy. He says “I love you, daddy!”. They share a long stare over this breech of decorum, until his father says, “Good luck on your travels through life.”

    I find myself saying this all the time now when I’m at a loss for real answers. Good luck on your travels through life.

    Thanks, Mr. Nordan. Thanks, Sean.

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