Being a parent was not a high priority–or even much of a likelihood–for acclaimed journalist and novelist Jesse Green. Yet when Green, at the age of thirty-seven, fell in love with a man who had recently adopted a baby boy, fatherhood suddenly fell into his lap. Now in this warm, humorous, deeply personal book, Green recounts the unexpected journey he and his partner traveled together on the road to parenthood.

In becoming the father–or rather one of the fathers–of Erez, Green faced challenges familiar to all parents, from the first bath to the first tooth, along with a host of dilemmas unique to his situation. As Green discovered, even in blasé New York City, reactions to his unconventional family ranged from the funny to the frightening, the unaccepting to the all-embracing. THE VELVETEEN FATHER is a moving record of the transformative effects parenthood can have on people who least expect to become parents–and of how we are repeatedly made anew by the love of children who need us.


Jesse Green is a much anthologized, award-winning journalist. A regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, he has written for The New Yorker, The Washington Post, New York, Premiere, GQ, Philadelphia, Mirabella, and Out. he covers theater for the Arts & Leisure section and writes about broader cultural topics for the Magazine. On radio, Green is a frequent contributor to WNYC’s The Next Big Thing and as a cultural critic on NPR’s All Things Considered. In addition to his journalism, Green is the author of O BEAUTIFUL (Ballantine Books, 1992).