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.)

Ayelet on Late Term Abortions

Ever since new broke last Friday about the murder of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, Ayelet Waldman has been actively speaking out on why she supports abortion.

A string of e-mails sent to her listserv of friends and fans have asked for donations to the National Abortion Federation and Medical Students for Choice or pushed readers in the Bay Area attend a vigil in Tiller’s honor. She also pubilished a piece in the Huffington Post on her own experience with abortion.

“The schlock jocks have a permanent bully pulpit from which to incite violence and hatred,” Waldman wrote. “But what about the women whose stories are never told? What about the women who confess only in secret their tragic tales of babies with genetic and developmental abnormalities, who turn to each other to heal because to say the words out loud is too dangerous?”

Waldman is now, via Salon, having a discussion with New York Times columnist Elizabeth Weil on having a late-term abortion. It’s available here.