Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son

Michael Chabon, Author . Harper $24.99 (306p) ISBN 978-0-06-149018-7

An entertaining omnibus of opinionated essays previously published mostly in Details magazine spotlights novelist Chabon's (The Yiddish Policemen's Union ) model of being an attentive, honest father and a fairly observant Jew. Living in Berkeley, Calif., raising four children with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, who has also just published a collection of parenting stories (Bad Mother ), Chabon, at 45, revisits his own years growing up in the 1970s with a mixture of rue and relief. A child of the suburbs of Maryland and elsewhere, where children could still play in what he calls in one essay the “Wilderness of Childhood,” he enjoyed a freedom now lost to kids, endured the divorce of his parents, smoked a lot of pot, suffered a short early marriage and finally found his life's partner, who takes risks where he won't. The essays are tidily arranged around themes of manly affection (his first father-in-law, his younger brother); “styles of manhood,” such as faking at being a handyman; and “patterns of early enchantment,” such as his delight in comic books, sci-fi and stargazing. Candid, warm and humorous, Chabon's essays display his habitual attention to craft. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/20/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-06-184237-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-196716-0
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-06-188546-4
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-06-149019-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-196654-5
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-212459-3
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