Cover image for Letters to my son : reflections on becoming a man
Letters to my son : reflections on becoming a man
Publication Information:
San Rafael, CA : New World Library, c1993.
Physical Description:
xviii, 212 p.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 170.8 NER 1 1

On Order



The author shares memories of his own father, and discusses true manhood, work, possessions, generosity, wealth, drugs and alcohol, suffering, spiritual values, loneliness, travel, art, love, marriage, fatherhood, aging, and death.

Author Notes

Kent Nerburn holds a PhD in both theology and art. He is an author, sculptor, and educator who has been involved in Native American issues and education. He developed and directed an award-winning oral history project on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota. He has edited several books on Native American subjects including Native American Wisdom, The Wisdom of the Native Americans, and The Soul of an Indian. He is also the author of Letters to My Son, The Wolf at Twilight, Simple Truths: Clear and Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues of Life, Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life, and Ordinary Sacred: The Simple Beauty of Everyday Life. In 1995, Neither Wolf Nor Dog won the Minnesota Book Award.

Nerburn is also the author of New York Times bestseller Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

With these letters addressed to his first child--``In midlife . . . I was surprised with the birth of a son''--Nerburn, a Minnesota sculptor, theologian and oral historian, bequeaths him a legacy of wisdom about marriage, fatherhood, infidelity, wanderlust, war, work, aging and death. The magic is that Nerburn counsels a gentle strength while accepting that men are wracked by their biology. He advices men not to rush off to war without knowing why, nor to hurry into every woman's bed, for each encounter is like ``a little marriage'' and each separation leaves men less able to love. Nerburn also prefers marriage to simply living together, because marriage gives ``gravity'' to a relationship. His ideas on lovemaking, which are very empathetic to the needs of women, could prove more helpful than most sex manuals. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The creation of this book of thoughtful, serious essays was initiated by the birth of a son to the author, who is a teacher and writer in Minnesota. The 28 essays, which are delightfully lyrical in tone, examine the way men look at such basic life experiences as sex, love, marriage, fatherhood, money, work, violence, and war, as well as the spiritual journey men must make. As Nerburn states, ``We are born male. We must learn to be men,'' and here he aims to explain to himself, his new son, and, ultimately, his readers, just how and what men learn. The result is always engaging. Recommended for public library collections.-- Del Cain, VA Medical Ctr. Lib., Bedford, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.