Crawling (Hardcover)

A Father's First Year

By Elisha Cooper

Pantheon, 9780375424557, 176pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/18/2007)

List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“There’s a head sticking out of my best friend . . . This isn’t a miracle, it’s assault. I’d call 911 but we’re already in a hospital.” So begins the birth of Elisha Cooper’s daughter, and so begins this touching and hilarious chronicle of his year as a first-time father.

Cooper gives voice to the life-changing joy, anxiety, exhaustion, and pride of new parents everywhere. At first he struggles with the “pink plastic tsunami” of baby gifts, before eventually coming to see the value of the flashy electric baby swing he nicknames “Las Vegas.” He wishes he could go for a walk with his wife, alone. He worries about protecting his child, even as he comes to the growing realization that he cannot. And throughout, he discovers new ways in which his life has changed. What’s changed? Everything.

Parents of all stripes will immediately recognize themselves here, from the bewildering numbness of sleep deprivation to the overpowering wonder felt when looking into the eyes of one’s child. Figuring it out–getting it right or getting it wrong–is all part of being a new father. Elisha Cooper has recorded every single moment of it in this charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and deeply loving book.

Praise For Crawling: A Father's First Year

“I’ve long admired Elisha Cooper’s beautiful art and demonic sense of humor. But I did not know that he was also a memoirist. In Crawling he reveals truths about fatherhood that most of us are afraid to admit–and he does so with great style and heart. This book is a delight!”
–Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All

“Should you read a book by a man who sells his daughter’s baby presents and throws cups of urine (his own) out the window of a speeding car? You should. Cooper has produced a little wonder; a wry, unsentimental account of two of manhood’s greatest rewards: marriage and fatherhood. I loved it, and you will, too.”
–Caitlin Flanagan, author of To Hell with All That

“With a delicious sense of humor and remarkably graceful phrasing, Cooper’s journal is a gift to all new parents–especially the guys.”
Publishers Weekly

“Elisha Cooper’s comical and delightfully unassuming memoir will appeal to anyone who considered his readiness to parent a sign of maturity, only to discover that having a child means regressing to early bedtimes, pushing a swing, and feeding the ducks. While keeping afloat on very little sleep, Cooper learns to fear and laugh and roll along–and treasure it all.”
–Jenny Minton, author of The Early Birds