New Chabon Book This Spring

Michael Chabon’s first non-fiction book, Maps and Legends, will hit stores this spring.

Published by McSweeney’s, the 200-page book, according to Chabon, “is a collection of writings on reading and writing, many but not all of them previously published, most of them retooled and shaped, hopefully, into a thematically unified whole.”

McSweeney’s is touting it as Chabon’s first nonfiction book. It is not to be confused with a previously announced, untitled nonfiction essay collection on what it’s like being a man in terms of being a son. That book is expected in spring 2009 from HarperCollins.

Maps & Legends, according to McSweeney’s, features 16 essays “in praise of reading and writing.”

“Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around “serious” literature in favor of a wide-ranging affection,” McSweeney’s says.

Though exactly which stories are available isn’t known, it is possible to guess on some thanks to McSweeney’s synopsis, as some fans did at Wikipedia. According to them, the book likely includes:

“Guidebook to a Land of Ghosts,” from Harper’s Magazine in October 1997.

“The Recipe for Life,” from The Washington Book World in 2000.

“Maps and Legends,” from Architectural Digest in April 2001.

“Inventing Sherlock Holmes,” from The New York Review of Books on February 10, 2005.

“The Game’s Afoot,” from The New York Review of Books on February 24, 2005.

“On ‘The Mysteries of Pittsburgh’,” from The New York Review of Books on June 9, 2005.

“After the Apocalypse,” from The New York Review of Books on February 15, 2007.

The publication date seems to vary on who you check with. McSweeney’s says February; Amazon claims March 28.

The book is priced at $24. According to Chabon, all proceeds go to San Francisco-based youth writing center 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s. HarpersCollins will publish a paperback version in 2009, Chabon said.

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