Small Fry (Brennan-Jobs) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to start a discussion for SMALL FRY … then take off on your own:

1. How does Steve Jobs come across in his daughter's memoir? What were your expectations of him before you read Small Fry? Were they altered or confirmed after having finished the book?

2. When she was only a little girl, Jobs told his daughter that he hadn't named the Apple Lisa computer after her. As an adult, she writes that he wasn't being cruel but teaching her a lesson—"not to ride on his coattails." What is your take on that episode? Was it a good lesson? How do you think young Lisa might have felt that at the time it took place, as opposed to looking back 30-some years later with the cushion of hindsight? What other incidents does the author point to as examples of Steve Jobs' life lessons?

3. Follow-up to Question 2: The author wants readers to forgive her father—as she herself has. Is it easy for you to do so, to put aside his seeming cruelty? She herself wonders whether she has conveyed his true nature: "Have I failed in fully representing the dearness and the pleasure …of being with him when he was in good form?" What do you think?

4. Follow-up to Question 3: What are the moments in the memoir that capture Jobs when he was in "good form"? Consider the time he showed up unexpectedly in Japan, pulled her out of school, and talked with her about the nature of God and consciousness. "I was afraid of him and, at the same time, I felt a quaking, electric love," she writes. Does that description of Jobs capture his charisma, his "true nature," or warmth?

5. How does Brennan-Jobs portray her mother, Chrisann Brennan? Why did Lisa leave her mother's home to live with her father? How would you have fared as a child or teen under either parent?

6. Once Lisa moved in with him, her father forbade her to see her mother for six months. He objected to her school extracurricular activities, and accused her of not "succeeding as a member of this family." She needed to be around more, he told her, "to put in the time." What do you think of Jobs' criticism?

7. How does Brennan-Jobs herself come across in her memoir? How would you describe her? Do you see her as traumatized? As resilient? As both?

8. What do you think of the neighbors who moved Lisa out of her father's house into their house—and even paid for her to finish her college degree? Were they right to interfere?

9. All of the people Brennan-Jobs writes about in this book are still alive except Steve Jobs, of course. Do some research to find out their various reactions to Small Fry. What do you think, overall, of the author's presentation of her family? What was her motive to write this book? Do you see it as a standard celebrity "tell-all" story? Is it vengeful? Is it putting the record straight? Is it a working out of the author's own identity? How do you see Lisa Brennan-Job's memoir?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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