Cover image for Manhood for amateurs [the pleasures and regrets of a husband, father, and son]
Manhood for amateurs [the pleasures and regrets of a husband, father, and son]
Chabon, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperAudio, [2009]

Physical Description:
7 audio discs (8 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Michael Chabon discusses his life, and what it means to be a man.
General Note:
Subtitle from container.


Compact disc, digital recording.

In container (17 cm.)
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3553.H15 Z463 2009C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
PS3553.H15 Z463 2009C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
PS3553.H15 Z463 2009C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
PS3553.H15 Z463 2009C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



The Pulitzer Prize-winning author offers his first major work of nonfiction, an autobiographical narrative as inventive, beautiful, and powerful as his acclaimed, award-winning fiction. 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 his 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? As a devoted son, as a passionate husband, and above all as a father, 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 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.

Author Notes

Michael Chabon was born in Washington, D.C. on May 24, 1963. He received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in English writing at the University of California at Irvine in 1987.

Chabon found success at the age of 24, when William Morrow publishing house offered him $155,000, a near-record sum, for the rights to his first novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which was his thesis in graduate school. After The Mysteries of Pittsburgh became a national bestseller, he began writing a series of short stories about a little boy dealing with his parents' divorce. The stories, which in part appeared in The New Yorker and G.Q., were bound together in 1991 into a volume titled A Model World and Other Stories. His other works include Wonder Boys, The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man, Telegraph Avenue, and Pop: Fatherhood in Pieces. In 2001 he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. He and Ayelet Waldman are co-editors of, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation..

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Known for his works of fiction in which he invites readers to make exhilarating imaginative leaps (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, 2000; The Yiddish Policemen's Union, 2007), Chabon takes a big, fat swing at the essay form with his second collection and achieves success. Manhood is the unifying topic, and Chabon explores his roles as son, father, brother, husband, male feminist, and so on, especially reveling in being a dad, illustrating in his essay William and I how he has a more emotional connection with his kids than the men of his father's generation ever had with theirs. Because of this, Chabon places traditional gender roles in his crosshairs. In the essay I Feel Good about My Murse, he playfully rejects the notion that a man shouldn't carry a purse. Elsewhere Chabon demonstrates his gravitational pull toward things traditionally considered female, such as baking and child rearing. Fans of Chabon's fiction will be prepped for his massive range of interests, and they should enjoy his digressions on topics such as astronomy, comic books, baseball, and the art of writing. These warm and thoughtful essays underscore just how good a wordsmith Chabon is regardless of the form he chooses.--Eberle, Jerry Copyright 2009 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This collection of previously published essays by the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is both lyrical and side-splittingly funny. In each autobiographical composition, the self-deprecating Chabon reveals facets of his ongoing evolution into "manhood." His most resonant role, as father, finds him reviling the "provided solutions" and "pre-imagined environments" of contemporary toys and advocating that children "mock capitalism and the uses to which it seeks to put them." Chabon also notes the infrequency with which today's kids are left to their own devices; there is "no of adult supervision, adult mediation, adult control" so that kids can, as did he, simply ride bikes or mess around. The writing makes epic the mundane, such as his teenaged adventure leading his young brother across an unfamiliar cityscape, or a rant on "crap" that manages to both skewer and celebrate pop culture past (Planet of the Apes TV series) and present ("family movies"). VERDICT Readers seeking the intelligence of Updike; the gentle, brainy appeal of Sedaris; or the literary virtuosity of Nabokov will thoroughly enjoy what the publisher bills as Chabon's first major nonfiction work. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.