Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, offers his first major work of nonfiction, an autobiographical narrative as inventive, beautiful and powerful as his novels. 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 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. At once dazzling, hilarious and moving, Manhood for Amateurs is destined to become a classic.