Forgot your password?  

A Conversation with My Father Summary
Grace Paley

Everything you need to understand or teach A Conversation with My Father by Grace Paley.

  • A Conversation with My Father Summary & Study Guide

A Conversation with My Father Summary


Grace Paley's "A Conversation with My Father" was originally published in the New American Review in 1972. It was subsequently included in Paley's second collection of short stories, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, published in 1974. On one level, the story is about women's relationships with then-fathers and sons. Paley recounts a visit between a middle-aged woman and her elderly, bedridden father, who suffers from heart disease. The father reproaches his daughter, a writer, for not constructing straightforward narratives. He encourages her to emulate the nineteenth-century writers Anton Chekhov and Guy de Maupassant, who wrote sparsely realistic tragedies. The daughter attempts to do so, telling him a story about some neighbors, a drug-addicted mother and son. She does not write a tragic ending, but ultimately both mother and son overcome their addictions. Her father rejects her ending, stating that she is unable to face tragedy in life and in fiction...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The A Conversation with My Father Study Pack contains about 42 pages of study material in 4 products, including:

A Conversation with My Father Study Guide

Follow Us on Facebook
You might also be interested in: