Chethik, Neil 1957–
Chethik, Neil 1957–
PERSONAL: Born 1957, in Cleveland, OH; married Kelly Flood (a professional fundraiser); children: Evan. Education: Northwestern University, B.A., 1979.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 8071, Lexington, KY 40533. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Tallahassee Democrat, staff writer; San Jose Mercury News, staff writer. Freelance writer and public speaker, 1991–.
FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.
VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think about Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
Writer of syndicated VoiceMale column, 1992–96.
SIDELIGHTS: The first time that writer Neil Chethik saw his father cry was when Chethik's grandfather passed away. He learned that a large part of his father's grief directly related to the loss of opportunity for mending fences and saying what needed to be said between them. "That was the seed," Chethik explained in an interview posted on his home page, for beginning his first book. Published as FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads, the book touches on many aspects of men's grief, including the anxiety that men face at the thought of losing a father, the grieving double standard where men are expected to be emotionally stronger than women, and ways in which a son can prepare—both by himself and with the help of his father—for such a loss. Critics predominantly responded to the book with applause. Although Library Journal contributor Douglas C. Lord found that FatherLoss "lacks clear how-to advice," he also noted that the work is a "well written … noble book." Additionally, Mary Louise Rohner, reviewing FatherLoss for Bookreporter.com, praised the book as being "readable and sensitive," and observed that the topic is one rarely discussed, making this "an important addition to the collection of books on coping with grief and bereavement."
In 2006 Chethik published VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think about Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment, another book that filled a perceived void in the marketplace at the time. Chethik interviewed hundreds of men as part of his research for VoiceMale, gaining insight into the male point of view on such relationship issues as sex, inlaws, and communication. The book also explores the various stages of marriage and the common viewpoints of husbands throughout each stage. Reviewers praised Chethik's revealing look at the little-explored male perception of marriage. Indeed, a Publishers Weekly critic called VoiceMale "most original," noting both the message about happy marriages and the suggestions for getting or keeping such a relationship. Library Journal critic Erica L. Foley agreed, observing that VoiceMale is "refreshing." Foley also stated that Chethik "does a wonderful job" creating a reference that is straightforward and "accessible."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, January 1, 2001, Douglas C. Lord, review of FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads, p. 135; December 1, 2005, Erica L. Foley, review of VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think about Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment, p. 149.
Publishers Weekly, October 10, 2005, review of Voice-Male, p. 44.
Bookreporter.com, http://www.bookreporter.com/ (April 13, 2006), Mary Louise Rohner, review of FatherLoss.
Neil Chethik Home Page, http://www.neilchethik.com (April 13, 2006).
Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/ (April 13, 2006), interview with Neil Chethik.