Lisa Brennan-Jobs can’t help loving her nasty dad

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The New York Times previews Ms. Brennan-Jobs’ new biography.


From In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We?

When Steve Jobs told his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs that the Apple Lisa computer was not named after her, it was not a cruel lie to a little girl, she insists — he was teaching her “not to ride on his coattails.”

When Mr. Jobs refused to install heat in her bedroom, he was not being callous, she says — he was instilling in her a “value system.”

When a dying Mr. Jobs told Ms. Brennan-Jobs that she smelled “like a toilet,” it was not a hateful snipe, she maintains — he was merely showing her “honesty.”

It’s a strange thing to write a devastating memoir with damning details but demand that these things are not, in fact, damning at all. Yet that’s exactly what Ms. Brennan-Jobs has done in a new memoir, “Small Fry,” and in a series of interviews conducted over the last few weeks…

In passage after passage of “Small Fry,” Mr. Jobs is vicious to his daughter and those around her. Now, in the days before the book is released, Ms. Brennan-Jobs is fearful that it will be received as a tell-all exposé, and not the more nuanced portrait of a family she intended. She worries that the reaction will be about a famous man’s legacy rather than a young woman’s story — that she will be erased again, this time in her own memoir.

My take: Too late. All the reviewers are cherry picking the cruel Steve Jobs bits. Pubdate is Sept. 4. I’ve pre-ordered the Audible edition.