Synopses & Reviews
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.
"A charming collection of autobiographical essays....Wry and heartfelt, Chabon's riffs uncover brand-new insights in even the most quotidian subjects." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[B]oth lyrical and side-splittingly funny....Readers seeking the intelligence of Updike; the gentle, brainy appeal of Sedaris; or the literary virtuosity of Nabokov will thoroughly enjoy what the publisher bills as Chabon's first major nonfiction work." Library Journal (starred review)
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author — "an immensely gifted writer and a magical prose stylist" (The New York Times) — offers his first major work of nonfiction with this autobiographical narrative that is as inventive, beautiful, and powerful as his previous works.
About the Author
Michael Chabon lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, and their children.