Manhood For Amateurs by Michael Chabon

Manhood for Amateurs is a collection of personal stories about the author’s children, parents, and personal experiences. Most are tone-perfect, especially the ones about his children. I liked the one where he bemoans the advent of complicated Lego kits that require parental assistance (although in our house the young builder never did) and pines for the old days when the kids had to create their own designs. There’s also a very sweet one about his ex-father in law and how divorce deprived him of what sounded like a very satisfying relationship to an old-school man.

And I wonder: how is it that writers can expose intimate secrets about their love life or drug use where anyone, including their own children they are clearly concerned about protecting? It seems so much safer to write a novel in which the character has the same (or enhanced) adventures under a pseudonym…

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