H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger has just published Father’s Day, a highly personal new book about his relationship with his 24 year-old brain-damaged son Zach.
But when the author of Friday Night Lights came to Austin for a reading Wednesday, he wasn’t above trading on his most famous, Texas-centric work, promising attendees they would get a glimpse of none other than Coach Eric Taylor:
Special guest KYLE CHANDLER at Bookpeople in Austin 7 pm. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Pack the house!
— buzzbissinger (@buzzbissinger) May 23, 2012
“I started the rumor that Kyle Chandler is coming,” Bissinger said when he took the podium at Bookpeople. “That’s a lie, of course, because I wanted people to come.”
Actually, that was a lie. The actor, who now lives in the Hill Country, was just a little late.
And while the crowd of more than 50 people was obviously giddy to meet Chandler (who graciously posed with all phone-camera comers later) they were also more than happy to let Bissinger talk Father’s Day - so much so that there weren’t even any questions about After Friday Night Lights, the also brand-new e-book about Bissinger’s relationship with former Odessa Permian star Boobie Miles.
That might be in part because Boobie Miles is a real guy, not a Dillon Panther from TV. At Bookpeople, Bissinger said that he freqently has to tell people, “my book is not based on the television show.”
Father’s Day is built around a cross-country road trip Bissinger took with his developmentally disabled son Zach, who was born 13 1/2 weeks premature with brain damage. Zach still lives with Bissinger’s ex-wife and works as a grocery bagger. His twin brother, Gerry, arrived three minutes sooner, and did not suffer the same fate (he is now a teacher).
Bissinger both read and talked extemporaneously about this difficult-to-write story, which was a huge departure for the non-fiction author and investigative journalist.
Over the course of