So Michael Chabon was indeed doing the reading/book signing, to my delight. I was dismayed to realize I forgot my camera, my phone (w/ camera) was dead, and my sister had 3 out of my 7 Chabon books, incl. Yiddish Policeman’s Union and Kavalier and Clay. I was like ahhhh!!! I am going to kill you!!!
but whatever, I’m sure he will write more books, and he actually lives in Berkeley (where I now live), soooo… until next time, Michael.. :-*
He was reading from his new non-fiction book, a collection of autobiographical essays entitled Manhood for Amateurs. In it, he explores in typical Chabon fashion (by which I mean sooo eloquent and awesome), well, manhood, what it means today, and his various relationships as a husband, father, son, and brother, etc.
He first read one about his relationship with his ex-wife’s family, whom he became very close with very quickly. The piece mainly focuses on his father-in-law, zooming in with picture-perfect clarity on every detail of this man, painting a humorous and yet tender portrait.
The essay had funny moments, but overall was quite touching and really thoughtful. It’s an incredibly well-detailed personal account, and yet a larger reflection of the way marriage knits families together, in some cases faster than anyone realizes.
Similar in tone, the second one he read was the last chapter in the book, about his daughter’s bat mitzvah. This one was also full of fun Chabonian (ha) details, such as questing to craft the perfect party playlist, and again his descriptions of family members convey both humor and tenderness.
One thing that really impressed me in both pieces was the total avoidance of anything trite or cliche, which can sometimes be hard when writing about parents or children. His insights seemed actually insightful, and often very moving.
So, I definitely want to read the rest of the book! I didn’t buy it at this event, because, ah… uhh.. ackkk *unemployed* $26 hardcover book I.. can’t.. do that right now haha. Though I really want to! Sigh. Maybe I just will anyway. Because I do like Michael Chabon that much. (newsflash I just discovered it’s $14 on amazon yesss)
He is just.. so AWESOME! The Q/A session actually yielded some good stuff, and he seems to have a hilarious response to every question or comment. He was also quite friendly (in a dignified fashion) and behaved just like.. a regular guy who writes books (really awesome books) which I guess is what he is!
He signed all my other books and I was kicking myself about the camera situation for sure!! Oh well. NEXT TIME.
I kind of love you, Michael Chabon. <333