Books and Books. October 23rd, 2009. 8:00 p.m.
A shy manifesto, an impractical handbook, the true story of a fabulist, an entire life in parts and pieces, Manhood for Amateurs is the first sustained work of personal writing from Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and his vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own lives: as a series of reflections, regrets, and reexaminations, each sparked by an encounter, in the present, that holds some legacy of the past.
What does it mean to be a man today? Chabon invokes and interprets and struggles to reinvent for us, with characteristic warmth and lyric wit, the personal and family history that haunts him even as – simply because – it goes on being written every day. As a devoted son, as a passionate husband, and above all as the father of four young Americans, Chabon presents his memories of childhood, of his parents’ marriage and divorce, of moments of painful adolescent comedy and giddy encounters with the popular art and literature of his own youth, as a theme played – on different instruments, with a fresh tempo and in a new key – by the mad quartet of which he now finds himself co-conductor. At once dazzling, hilarious, and moving, Manhood for Amateurs is destined to become a classic.
Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in Their Youth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Summerland (a novel for children), The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Maps and Legends and Gentlemen of the Road. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
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