Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces

Michael Chabon

You are born into a family and those are your people, and they know you and they love you and if you are lucky they even, on occasion, manage to understand you. And that ought to be enough. But it is never enough

In 2016, Michael acted as reluctant minder to his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, on a trip to Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

Possessed of a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolized and turning a critical eye to the most ‘lit’ runway looks; Chabon Sr., whose interest in clothing stops at ‘thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts’ was too hot.

Despite his own indifference, however, what emerged was a deep respect for his son’s passion, for his bravery in the face of conformity, and a sense of awe in seeing him transform into his own person.

With ‘My Son, the Prince of Fashion’ at its centre, this collection features gems on the magic and mysteries of fatherhood. Whether you know the joy and struggles of being a father, or were shaped by one, you will find a home in these stunning essays.

Reviews of Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces

  • Praise for Pops:

    ‘Pops is not about what we should be teaching our children but the ways in which our children teach us. That, contrary to the edict of his would-be mentor in the opening chapter, they can also provide the writer with a book’s worth of material is, one imagines, merely a bonus’ Guardian

    ‘Chabon’s book feels like a late-night talk with a friend about how much we love our kids and how hopeful we are that we’re better dads than we fear’ Judd Apatow, New York Times

    ‘Fashion also takes centre stage in the essay ‘Little Man’, in which Chabon describes taking his clothes-obsessed 13-year-old son Abe to Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. It’s both a fascinating take on its subject and brilliantly written, but what’s more, the care Chabon takes with his subject – that where Abe’s heart lies, not Chabon’s own – ensures it’s steeped in parental love without ever being gushing. Read the book for this gem of a piece alone. It’s that good’ Independent

    ‘Like the best American humourists, the tone is at once ironic and warm, folksy but with an edge.’ Financial Times

    ‘Simmering with affection, concern, wonderment…’ Irish Independent

    ‘Brillaintly written’ Evening Standard

    ‘Packs a big emotional punch … a brilliantly evocative piece of reportage, funny and engaging ’ Big Issue

    Praise for Michael Chabon:

    ‘Chabon is one of contemporary literature’s most gifted prose stylists’ New York Times

    ‘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