Winner of the Maine Literary Award for memoir. Named a best book of Pride Month by Nylon, Shondaland, and The Messenger.

After a decade-long relationship with a dominatrix he called Daddy, Emerson Whitney had begun to crave something besides submission. It came as a full surprise—submission had been so central to his early adulthood, to his trans identity. Dizzied by new questions of control and aging, and living in a tent while his relationship ends, Emerson stumbles upon an advertisement for a storm-chasing tour. “For thrill seekers,” it says. Unsure what else to do, he signs up.

Daddy Boy follows Emerson as he packs into a van full of strangers and drives up and down the country—staying in Days Inns and eating bags of carrots from Walmart and wanting nothing more than to surrender to the force of a colossal storm. “We had no idea where we were going,” Emerson writes, “just waiting for one cloud to pop.” Roaming the prairie landscape of his childhood, Emerson recalls his adoptive dad, Hank‚ unflinching and extremely Texan, and his biological dad, who was rarely around. From the van’s trash-strewn back seat, and in the face of these looming figures, Emerson begins to wonder: Did he want to be Daddy now?

Praise for Daddy Boy

“A true treasure.”
Publishers Weekly

Sarah Neilson, Shondaland

“A beautiful flight toward a life one can believe in. Gorgeously written, truthful, and timely.”
Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography

“Exquisitely-alive. After reading Daddy Boy, I feel so much more attuned to the complexities of the world.”
Patrick Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace

“Whitney’s brilliance lights up the sky, like the best of all storms.”
Samantha Hunt, author of The Unwritten Book: An Investigation

“Hypnotic. It quivers with the air.”
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door

“I am happy to go anywhere Emerson Whitney wants to take me.”
CAConrad, author of Amanda Paradise

“This book grabs your hand and pulls you into the most intimate and surprising corners of one fascinating queer life.”
Lydia Conklin, author of Rainbow Rainbow

“Gutsy … Filled with incisive cultural analyses, Daddy Boy is a powerful, vulnerable memoir about deep self-discovery.”
Michelle Sharpe, Foreword Reviews

Praise for Emerson Whitney

“Whitney stands as a deft executor of their own unique style … a writer who guides with an intuitive vulnerability and honesty.’
The Paris Review

“[A writer] whose sentences are akin to a skipped heartbeat.”

“Hundreds of years from now, readers can better appreciate this time and this nation through Emerson Whitney’s extraordinary lens.”

“Once, they said writers responded to the call of the Muse. These days they say writers compose out of their deepest obsessions. For Emerson Whitney, it is one and the same.”
Ilya Kaminsky