Manhood for Amateurs

Michael Chabon

In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own: as a series of reflections, regrets and re-examinations, 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 it goes on being written every day. As a son, a husband and above all as a father of four young children, Chabon’s 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, are like 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.

Reviews of Manhood for Amateurs

    • ‘Beautiful, dancing, lively language, not a whiff of cliché, and an acute understanding of the frailty of human nature will come as no surprise to fans of Chabon’s fiction…if you’re not a fan of his writing yet, this book will surely change that’ Independent
    • Praise for Michael Chabon:
    • ‘Poignant, affecting, witty, wrenching, a terrific writer.’ Washington Post
    • ‘Chabon is a language magician, turning everything into something else just for the delight of playing tricks with words…Chabon’s ornate prose makes (Raymond) Chandler’s fruity observations of the world look quite plain…he writes like a dream’ Guardian
    • ‘The natural exuberance and extravagance of Chabon’s writing is matched by dazzling wit.’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘His talent is indisputable…Chabon’s novels are warm, witty, a little whimsical, always beautifully written…he is that rare and precious beast: a literary writer with crossover appeal…’ GQ
    • ‘He is the most wonderful vaudeville performer.’ Philip Hensher, in the Spectator ‘Books of the Year’