With a foreword by Sir Bob Geldof and photography by British portrait photographer Harry Borden, Hoxton Mini Press-published, Single Dad, is a testament to the many men out there raising their children alone; philosopher Alain de Botton calling it “a beautiful book, filled with humanity and compassion, and proof of the deep love that fathers have for their children.”
Raw and tender portraits fill the 104-page hardback, coupled with touching tales of love, loss, hopes and fears that eschew the adage of how the working father inevitable winds up as the emotionally distant dad. Borden, himself a separated father of four, has brought his own experience to the emotive publication, snapping 48 single fathers and bringing to the forefront of the image their vulnerabilities and devotion.
Though each one has suffered a loss of sorts, Single Dad is a celebration of how, despite heartache, their children have helped them to find a renewed sense of purpose and innate ability to nurture and love; quashing all out-of-date notions of masculinity, and demonstrating to the reader firsthand what it is to be a man in the modern world.
Powerful and touching, emotional and inspiring, this touching tome opens the door on a way of life familiar to many, yet oft-overlooked in the cultural zeitgeist. A document of men at their best, Harry Borden’s Single Dad is available now from Hoxton Mini Press.
Royston ‘Stone’ with Fin
Tracy and I separated when Fin was a few months old. When she was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, she asked me to move in to take care of them. I was overjoyed yet deeply saddened. I had always dreamed of us being together again. In the strangely detached intimacy of compassionate care, I fell in love with Tracy again. No fear, no pain, no regrets: just gentle acceptance and joyous release. Now it’s me and Fin; laughing, crying and healing together.
Kit with Joseph
I’ve come to the conclusion that you perceive the whole world differently when you have a child. I’ve also found myself going from being almost selfish to selfless. Whilst I’ve fallen in love a few times, the love you feel for your child is totally encompassing. My one regret is that I did not have a child earlier and maybe more than one. However, I do feel lucky just to have Joseph. For many years something was missing from life and now I feel complete.
David with Isabelle
Being a dad is hard work with the need to be an expert in many things including ethics, counselling, economics, fashion and logistics. However, the pleasure that being a dad gives makes up for this a thousand-fold. Whether it’s her uncontrollably laughing about antics at school, baking a cake to share, asking if I’ll watch Doctor Who with her, or us simply riding our bikes into town or walking together in the local park, I feel so lucky every day.
Nigel with Maia Rose
At just 10 days old, Maia was cast in the TV soap Emmerdale. The storyline involved her screen mother dying and her father coping with this loss. On our wedding anniversary in 2012, just as Maia was one month old, we were given the news that my wife Katie had stage four metastatic cancer. On 2nd July 2013 at 3:35pm, Katie died at home with me and Maia by her side. My life as a single daddy had begun.
Nate with Vey and Dexter
What I love about being a father is I get to share every precious moment. To be the name they call out in the night. To watch them grow into loving, kind, wonderful children who still want to hold my hand everywhere we go. I am just so proud to be their dad and hope one day, when they look back, they are as proud of me.
Jonathan with Xavier
I’d always felt that one day I’d be a dad, but I’d never imagined that becoming one would be so daunting. With the help of fertility specialists, lawyers, an egg donor and an awesome gesta- tional surrogate, Xavier was born in Southern California, September 2013.
Nav with Eisa
The thing I love most is being there for my son when life throws him a curveball. Helping him through challenges he faces at school, with friends (he has a lot of them, so juggling his time between them can be tough!), riding a bike, you name it. I’ve realised that fatherhood really is a privilege and my son has brought a meaning to my life that I never had the right to expect. For that I will be forever grateful.