Interviews Galore as Chabon Does the Rounds

Promoting Manhood for Amateurs has been keeping Michael Chabon busy these days. On top of a series of book readings across the country, Chabon has been giving interviews to a plethora of newspapers and magazines.

Perhaps most prominent was a New York Times article yesterday profiling Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. The piece looks at the two authors’ use of their families in their writing, specifically their two most recent non-fiction books detailing the highs and lows of parenthood.

“It’s not like writing about our family life is the daily bread of our writing,” Chabon told the Times. “We’re not Dennis the Menace or Family Circus.”

To the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (now only in online format, sadly) published a Q&A, where Chabon talked about his parenting philosophy. “Tell the truth,” he said. “That’s what we demand of [the kids], and that’s what they know they can expect from us. There are times when we can’t quite get the whole truth out, although that’s our goal, always. And we try to make an environment where there’s enough trust and support that it’s not going to be terrifying for them to tell the truth. They need to know that you’re not going to stop loving them no matter what decision they make.”

Chabon also said has recently been following the work of Julie Orringer and her husband, Ryan Harty. “I love their work,” he said. “I have tried to support them when they ask me to read their manuscripts. It’s a shared thing; I’ve asked them to read my manuscripts, too. We’re an embattled tribe.”

The Los Angeles Times asked Chabon what it is like switching to non-fiction. “There’s something liberating, refreshing, recharging about taking a memory or a particular subject or a recent occurrence in my life and just dwelling on it, in a restricted form, without having to worry about creating big set piece descriptions, or worry too much about thematic patterning, and all the kinds of things that I have to worry about when I’m writing a novel.

“But it also can be really hard, because I feel like I have to stick to the facts, and tell the truth, and not make stuff up,” on the other hand, he continued. “A lot of times, things didn’t really happen the way I would like them to happen, if I were writing a short story or a piece of fiction, and that can be kind of frustrating”

There are other interviews too, which I won’t excerpt but are worth reading. Among the interviews I’ve come across include the Kansas City-Star, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, the Globe and Mail, the Denver Post, and the Montreal Gazette.

Chabon Coming to a City Near You

Michael Chabon is hitting the road for a promotional series of readings to drum up attention for his newest book, Manhood for Amateurs, which hits stores next week.

The non-fiction book of essays will be released next Tuesday. Chabon’s Web site shows a myriad of readings are scheduled throughout October everywhere from Pittsburgh to New York to Portland to Los Angeles.

For a complete schedule, head over to Chabon’s site.

New Chabon Essay in New York Review of Books

Michael Chabon has authored a new essay, which appears in the July 16 issue of The New York Review of Books and is available online.

Titled “Manhood for Amateurs: The Wilderness of Childhood,” the essay explores why allowing children to have parentless adventures is important to developing their imaginations. Chabon, in the essay, questions whether the growing concern of parents for their childrens safety, and the accompanying decrease in freedom children get to explore the world alone, will have long-lasting effects on literature and creativity more generally in coming generations.

“The thing that strikes me now when I think about the Wilderness of Childhood is the incredible degree of freedom my parents gave me to adventure there,” Chabon writes. “A very grave, very significant shift in our idea of childhood has occurred since then. The Wilderness of Childhood is gone; the days of adventure are past. The land ruled by children, to which a kid might exile himself for at least some portion of every day from the neighboring kingdom of adulthood, has in large part been taken over, co-opted, colonized, and finally absorbed by the neighbors.”

(Side note: The title of the essay is the same as Chabon’s up-coming non-fiction book of essays, Manhood for Amateurs. The New York Review of Books gives no indication if the essay will appear in the book.)

New Chabon Book Out in October

The release date is set for Michael Chabon’s next book.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures & Regrets of a Husband, Father & Son has a release date of October 9, 2009, according to Amazon. The collection of essays will run 320 pages. Previous published reports have said the book will include his non-fiction writing on the subject of what it’s like being a man in terms of being a son, a father and a husband.

No cover image is included with the solicitation. The book carries a cover price of $25.99.