Where is Daddy? Mirna Funk Talks To Us About Her Latest Book
Mirna Funk works as a writer, journalist and storyteller. She is currently writing a monthly column forVogue Germany and works as a Consultant and Associate Producer for Carte Blanche. Her first children's book Where Is Daddy?- in collaboration with Israeli illustrator Maayan Weisstub- has been published in November 2018.
After your first debut novel Winter, you have decided to embark on a children book adventure…
Well, I am a single-mother, next to being an author and journalist. Every evening I read to my daughter Etta. I realised that none of the books actually mirrored Etta's and my family life. All of them where about mama, daddy and the baby. It made me angry, because I felt that my daughter’s reality was not worth writing about. And it made me angry that the reality of lesbian couples, grandparents, gay couples or co-parenting couples wasn’t worth either. There are books of course about diverse families. But there is none that is about ALL different forms. So children can learn: that there are more than their family model. There are many. I do believe teaching tolerance is key.
Where is Daddy? was initially a Kickstarter project. tell us about the process of writing and making the book.
Actually the book came first, then we decided that we needed a Kickstarter campaign to bring it to life. We needed money for the website, the shop, the designer, the printing house and the translations. That’s why we launched a Kickstarter campaign. Whilst the project was up, we finished the book. Maayan Sophia Weisstub, the illustrator, drew the pictures and I wrote the story, which you can already read in English online (http://whereisdaddy.net/read-online/). After we both finished our part, it went to the designer Marek Polweski who then created the final book.
Did you already know Maayan?
Yes, I did. Maayan did a great job. We actually met exactly a year ago in Tel Aviv. I kind of live between Berlin and Tel Aviv, and a mutual friend, Kirsten Becken said we should meet up. So we did. We immediately really liked each other and kept in contact. I purchased an art work (Horse) of Maayan for my daughters bedroom and I did an interview with her for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. When I visited Tel Aviv in May this year, we had dinner and I told her about my idea. That’s how it started.
Where is Daddy? has had a great response, from Vogue to Vice, you seem to have caught the attention of media and not only. Why do you think the book theme has touched the heart of so many?
I think it was because not only we all know at least one not heteronormative family, we probably even grew up in one and felt insecure about it. Most of the people send me messages saying “I wish I have had a book like that when I was a child”. Feeling not complete or simply like an outcast from society by not living the mama-papa-child-dream is a common phenomenon. I don’t want my daughter to feel an outcast and I don’t want any child in the whole world having the same feeling, just because it doesn’t fit society standards that are totally outdated already. I love progress. I love being progressive. And I want to support progressiveness on all levels.
If I had a child I myself would 100% read this book to them. It portrays the modern way of living into a family, where the heteronormative family institution is very much a dream. Unfortunately not many seem to understand the beauty of all types of family. What do you think will be the obstacles of publishing and spreading the work about this book?
Giving up on this heteronormative dream. It is the hardest. In general, giving up on dreams, acknowledging that something we wished for or were taught to wish for is outdated, not real or not even that amazing as we thought. What love and family is all about are big topics in books, movies and stories we tell each other. Most of these notions are simply unreal. And we feel disappointed when we don’t reach the dreamlike state of love or family. But we shouldn’t. We should embrace the un-dreamy, real love and family. No matter if it does not fit any movie story. Maybe it makes us happy although it is far away from any society standard. And if it does. That’s all that counts.
You can purchase Where Is Daddy? here.