“The myth of Steve Jobs: iconoclastic artistic genius, Nietzschean Übermensch, progenitor of the digital revolution who reshaped our domestic lives the same way that the titans of the Industrial Revolution reshaped cities and factories. Although dark tales about Jobs have appeared in biographies and movies, they have only burnished the legend: After all, the Übermensch is not a mensch,” Melanie Thernstrom writes for The New York Times. “But Small Fry, an entrancing memoir by his first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, will force readers to grapple with whether Jobs was not merely unmenschlike but a monster. It is not a stretch to say that if you read this book, you will never think of Jobs the same way again.”

“Brennan-Jobs herself never addresses the question of his legacy; her book is written from the perspective of a child longing for a father. She grew up in Palo Alto with an impoverished single mother, Jobs’s high school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, and had moved 13 times by the time she was 7 — a bohemian existence so chaotic that the Humane Society rejected their application for a kitten. (Lisa had to settle for mice.) Yet all the while, just around the corner, was the increasingly famous, wealthy father who refused to parent her,” Thernstrom writes. “At a birthday party for her younger half sister Eve, a guest asks Lisa who she is. Eve responds, ‘She was daddy’s mistake.'”

“It is the terrible motif of her life,” Thernstrom writes. “Chrisann also makes her feel like a mistake, repeatedly intimating that being a single mother is too difficult for her. By kindergarten, Lisa had internalized her unwantedness and begun ‘to feel there was something gross and shameful about me,’ as if she were ‘wormy inside, like I’d caught whatever disease or larvae were passed through raw eggs and flour when I snuck raw cookie dough.'”

Thernstrom writes, “In the fallen world of kiss-and-tell celebrity memoirs, this may be the most beautiful, literary and devastating one ever written.”

“Lisa’s memoir stands in marked contrast to previous representations of Steve and the Jobs family. Laurene, Lisa’s half siblings and her aunt the novelist Mona Simpson have said in a statement to The Times that the book ‘differs dramatically from our memories of those times,’ and ‘the portrayal of Steve is not the husband and father we knew,'” Thernstrom writes. “Readers will need to decide for themselves how to judge conflicting accounts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, myriad issues abound — and different people’s truths can be markedly dissimilar — but Thernstrom is right, “Brennan-Jobs is a deeply gifted writer.”

SEE ALSO:
Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs blasts stepdaughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir – August 28, 2018
In Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir, Steve Jobs comes across as quite the jerk – August 23, 2018
‘I have a secret. My father is Steve Jobs.’ – August 2, 2018
Chrisann Brennan: Steve Jobs was a haunted house of brokenness; cold, ruthless, and obsessive – October 4, 2015
Steve Jobs’ ex Chrisann Brennan reveals their explosive relationship in new memoir – October 15, 2013