Villard Books, Paperback, 9781400062775, 209pp.
Publication Date: August 10, 2004
Rosalind had two mommies. Now, thanks to a tragic accident involving foodstuffs, she has none. And Sean, the sperm donor responsible for half her DNA (and nothing else), is taking custody. Rosalind finds herself adjusting to a new life that seems both hateful and surreal–she’s an orphan with a new father, surrounded by friends she is beginning to despise and well-meaning adults who succeed only in annoying her.
Sean made a donation fifteen years ago, and his life since has not gone according to plan. Thirty-five, single, and still grieving the loss of his own mother twenty-seven years ago, he decides to take on the overwhelming task of caring for an unhappy teenager he doesn’t know.
Told entirely through e-mail, instant messaging, journal entries, and other random communications, Donorboy is the comic, compellingly readable novel of how these two people learn to converse, cook, write heavy-metal songs, and nail windows shut on their way to becoming a family. Brendan Halpin has written a universal story of how we laugh, cry, and occasionally punch our way to a new life in the face of tragedy.
“Donorboy is a lively and exhilarating novel that reminds us that comedy and tragedy aren't opposites at all; by laying them side by side, Brendan Halpin adds weight to his funny moments and lightness to his sad ones. A touching and utterly engaging book."
-Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel
"Brendan Halpin's great gift as a writer is to hold his reader's heart in two worlds simultaneously-- one achingly funny, the other heartbreakingly sad. I read Donorboy in one sitting, my heart simultaneously cracked open and healed. What a beautiful, elegiac, laugh-out-loud book. In Donorboy, Halpin has redefined the epistolary novel."
-Alison McGhee, author of Shadow Baby and Was It Beautiful?