Review of Small Fry

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When Lisa Brennan, age 3, met her father Steve Jobs the first time he said, “I’m one of the most important people you will ever know.” She was the daughter of Jobs and his high school sweetheart. He lost a paternity suit in 1980; the court made him pay $385 a month in child support. He increased it to $500 and signed the documents only days before Apple, went public, making him suddenly worth $200 million dollars. Thus begins Lisa and her father’s complicated relationship. From their first acquaintance until his death in 2011, Jobs struggled to show her affection. The author never devolves into self-pity but instead explores her relationship with her father and why she needed his love. 

About the Author

Lisa Brennan-Jobs is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Harvard Advocate, the Los Angeles Times and O, the Oprah Magazine. 


Mom and Dad

Author Lisa Brennan-Jobs explains from the beginning that when her mother, young Steve Jobs’s girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, became pregnant in 1978, Jobs was furious and stopped speaking to her. Though he helped name his daughter when she was born, he provided no support and Brennan had to go on welfare. She sued Jobs for child support in 1980. He claimed he was sterile and that another man was Lisa’s father. A DNA test proved Jobs’s parentage, but he did not meet his daughter until she was three years old. 

Jobs didn’t take responsibility for Brennan and their child until 1982, when he reunited with his sister, the author Mona Simpson. She befriended Lisa and Brennan, who struggled to earn a regular living and to try to maintain a nice home. Simpson brought the family closer together. She wasn’t intimidated by her brother, and he respected her as a self-made woman who was famous in her own right. On the other hand, he and Brennan never had a strong bond.

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