In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We?

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‘I Hope Thanksgiving’s OK’

None of that, in fact, was possible when Ms. Brennan-Jobs was born on May 17, 1978, on a commune farm in Oregon. Her dad and mom, who had met in highschool in Cupertino, Calif., had been each 23. Mr. Jobs arrived days after the beginning and helped identify her, however refused to acknowledge that he was the daddy. To assist her household, Ms. Brennan cleaned homes and used authorities help. Only after the federal government sued Mr. Jobs did he conform to pay little one assist.

“Small Fry” describes how Mr. Jobs slowly took a better curiosity in his daughter, taking her skating and coming over to her home for visits. Ms. Brennan-Jobs moved in with him for a time throughout highschool, when her mom was scuffling with cash and her mood, however Mr. Jobs was chilly and had excessive calls for for what being a member of the household entailed. The neighbors subsequent door fearful in regards to the teenage Lisa, and one night time, when Mr. Jobs was out, they moved her from his home and into theirs. Against Mr. Jobs’s needs, the neighbors paid for her to complete faculty. (He later paid them again.)

In an interview, Ms. Brennan-Jobs spoke of “not wanting to alienate people” she loves, however acknowledged that her memoir may just do that. Aside from Mr. Jobs, all of the central characters are very a lot alive. “I hope Thanksgiving’s O.K.,” she mentioned.

Her mom, Ms. Brennan, is portrayed as a free spirit who nurtured her daughter’s creativity — however may very well be mercurial, hot-tempered and generally neglectful. “It was horrendous for me to read,” Ms. Brennan mentioned in an interview. “It was very, very hard. But she got it right.”

Mr. Jobs’s notorious venom is on frequent show in “Small Fry.” Out one night time at dinner, Mr. Jobs turns to his daughter’s cousin, Sarah, who has simply unknowingly offended him by ordering meat. “‘Have you ever thought about how awful your voice is?” Mr. Jobs asks Sarah. “Please stop talking in that awful voice,” he says, including, “You should really consider what’s wrong with yourself and try to fix it.”

Ms. Brennan-Jobs describes her father’s frequent use of cash to confuse or frighten her. “Sometimes he decided not to pay for things at the very last minute,” she writes, “walking out of restaurants without paying the bill.” When her mom discovered a lovely home and requested Mr. Jobs to purchase it for her and Lisa, he agreed it was good — however purchased it for himself and moved in along with his spouse, Laurene Powell Jobs.

Ms. Brennan mentioned that her daughter has, if something, underplayed the chaos of her childhood. “She didn’t go into how bad it really was, if you can believe that,” she mentioned.

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