The books in­ter­view: Pulitzer win­ner Michael Chabon

The Pulitzer win­ner talks to Alex Pre­ston about com­bin­ing writ­ing with rais­ing kids, his freako­zoid ten­den­cies and the au­thors he re­turns to

The Observer - The New Review - - Agenda -

Michael Chabon is one of Amer­ica’s best-loved writ­ers, the au­thor of nine novels, in­clud­ing The Amaz­ing Ad­ven­tures of Kava­lier & Clay (which won the Pulitzer prize), Won­der Boys, The Yid­dish Po­lice­men’s Union and Moon­glow. In 2009, he pub­lished Man­hood for Am­a­teurs, a se­ries of re­flec­tions on his early years as a fa­ther. Now, with Pops: Fa­ther­hood in Pieces, 54-year-old Chabon has col­lected his es­says about par­ent­ing four teenagers.

A few years ago, Chabon’s wife, the nov­el­ist Ayelet Wald­man, wrote a con­tro­ver­sial es­say for the New York Times in which she claimed to love her hus­band more than her chil­dren (and to be the only one of her mar­ried friends still hav­ing reg­u­lar sex). Chabon’s med­i­ta­tions on fa­ther­hood are less likely to offend – they’re gen­er­ous, very Cal­i­for­nian (Chabon lives in Berke­ley) and full of warm, of­ten hu­mor­ous anec­dotes.

If Man­hood for Am­a­teurs was about tak­ing on re­spon­si­bil­ity, Pops feels like it’s about let­ting go as your kids grow up. Michael Chabon is the au­thor of nine novels, in­clud­ing The Amaz­ing Ad­ven­tures of Kava­lier & Clay, and par­ent­ing es­says. Do you worry about their right to pri­vate lives? What’s the last re­ally great book you read? How do you or­gan­ise your books? Which clas­sic novel did you read re­cently for the first time? Which book would you give to a young per­son?

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