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.

Chabon Scripted 20,000 Leagues Shelved

Walt Disney has pulled the plug on a $150 million remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea after only recently bringing Michael Chabon on board to rewrite the script, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The decision came from new Disney Studios chief Rich Ross less than four months before the movie was to begin shooting. Disney had only recently brought on Chabon to help rework the script for the movie, called Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The movie was to be directed by McG.

The decision, according to the paper’s sources, was out of concerns the movie was going to be too dark.

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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.

Love to Screen at Toronto Film Fest

Don Roos’s film adaptation of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits is set to premier at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, based on Ayelet Waldman’s novel and staring Natalie Portman, will be one of 335 films from 64 countries that will screen at the festival, which runs from Sept. 10 through 19. Seventy-one other films will also have their world premier at the festival.

Here’s how the film is described in TIFF’s press release, which was issued last week:

“Emilia Woolf (Natalie Portman) is a Harvard law school graduate and a newlywed, having just married Jack, her high-powered New York lawyer boss (Scott Cohen). Her life takes an unexpected turn when the couple loses their newborn daughter. Emilia struggles through her grief to connect with her precocious new stepson William (Charlie Tahan), overcome a rift in her relationship with her father caused by his infidelity, and cope with the constant interferences of Jack’s angry, jealous ex-wife (Lisa Kudrow). An adaptation of an Ayelet Waldman novel, this tearful and terrific tale by writer-director Don Roos proves that even with a pursuit like love, nothing is impossible.”