Free-wheeling memoir of the author’s relationship with the young Steve Jobs, which led to the birth of their daughter, Lisa.
When artist Brennan writes that “[t]he histories of women involved with so-called great men occupy a shabby territory in the public’s mind,” it is a poor strategy to deflect potential criticism of motives and conduct, for it dodges personal responsibility, something she imparts to Jobs, who swarmed with “misanthropic confusion.” Their on-again, off-again relationship was never smooth, and the author could relate to Jobs’ adoptive mother’s comment: “Steve was so difficult a child that by the time he was two I felt we had made a mistake. I wanted to return him.” Regardless, the author “knew he was a genius when I first saw him because his eyes shone with brilliant, complicated cartwheels of light,” that he “had a big conversation going on inside,” and when he spoke, “[h]e would often say things that seemed to come from the high winds of a vast plain.” In Jobs, she found a seeker who came with a price—“Highs and lows are what it takes to break the mold of previous consciousness and allow world-shattering ideas to be birthed”—but Jobs was psychologically damaged goods, needy of all the attention, and “[h]e’d wipe people out in the process” of getting it. Brennan writes of their taking LSD, Jobs’ Zen teacher and his friendships, and a sweet vignette of days on a communal farm, yet she provides nothing groundbreaking. Jobs was cheap and caustic and tried to drive a stake between mother and daughter—though seemingly worthy criticism bleeds into odd psychological speculation: “I will be clear. Steve was not a sexual predator of children. There was something else going on…my sense is that part of Steve’s fractured emotional development resulted in his ludicrously fetishizing sexuality and romance.”
For those who require the full Jobs collection.