New Chabon Mystery Book? Nope

An astute site visitor passed along a curious URL for a listing on Amazon’s UK site for what appeared to be a new Chabon book, Tales of Mystery and Imagination. The listing even had a publication date (May 2010), a publisher (Harper Perennial), and a page count (400). It even has the same title of a book of short stories Chabon said in 2002 he was going to eventually write. So it must be real, right?

Apparently not. I checked in with Michael Chabon, who said the listing is a mistake and no such book exists.

A book of eight short stories carrying that title was announced back in 2002, after Miramax won an option for the unwritten collection that was to include “a horror story, a Sherlock Holmes adventure, a ghost story, an adventure story, a science fiction story, a story of suspense, a costume or period or historical story and a sea story” in styles similar to H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, according to an article by at the time.

But Chabon said Sunday that book was what ultimately became 2004’s The Final Solution.

Cody’s Books Closes; Fave of Chabon’s

Cody’s Books, a Berkeley-based bookstore that sold novels nationally and that Michael Chabon encouraged fans to buy from, closed for good Friday because of lagging sales.

“I think it’s a terrible shame,” Chabon told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It was a wonderful bookstore. It’s painful, sort of like watching someone suffering from a chronic illness painfully and slowly die. (Cody’s was) part of the fabric of Berkeley, the social fabric and commercial fabric.”

The store in recent years closed several branches until only one remained in Berkeley. But after rent nearly tripled a few months ago, the store’s owners decided they couldn’t keep it in business any longer.

Before Chabon stripped apart his Web site in 2006, he regularly linked to Cody’s site when encouraging visitors to buy his books. He also regularly had readings there for his new books, such as for The Final Solution and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.

Chabon: ‘No Substitute’ For Macdowell Colony

Michael Chabon says “there’s no substitute” for MacDowell Colony, where he’s written parts of his last three books.

Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, take turns going to MacDowell on two-week trips each year, The New York Times reported today.

“The work just becomes the center of your entire existence,” Chabon said. “You can’t be a good parent and have your work be the center of your entire existence. They’re mutually exclusive.”

The Times said Chabon has written “important parts” of Kavalier & Clay, The Final Solution, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union while at the colony. “The last time I was at MacDowell I wrote a 70,000-word draft of a novel,” Waldman said, referring to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. “I was completely inspired, I’ve never written like that before or since.”