Pops : Fatherhood in Pieces
by Chabon, Michael

Introduction: The Opposite of Writing1(14)
Little Man
Adventures in Euphemism
The Bubble People
Against Dickitude
The Old Ball Game
Be Cool or Be Cast Out

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh presents a full-length collection of essays on fatherhood, including his viral 2016 GQ piece about his 13-year-old son's immersion in Paris Men's Fashion Week. 150,000 first printing.

*Starred Review* "Don't have children," an established writer once cautioned Chabon, since doing so would stunt his career. So recalls the prolific, best-selling Chabon (Moonglow, 2016)-father of four-in the opener to his latest essay collection, a celebration of fatherhood. "Little Man" is a waggish GQ profile of his youngest son, a fashionista since kindergarten. In "The Bubble People," a wait in line at a Berkeley coffee shop with his teenage daughter becomes a meditation on style, place, and feeling at home among "freakazoids." Other essays relate the ways in which fatherhood has altered Chabon's relationship to certain pastimes. "Adventures in Euphemism" is a hilarious and sobering confession of how he handled the n-word while reading Mark Twain to his children. In "The Old Ball Game," his lifelong love for baseball dissipates when his son joins a Little League team until his daughter helps reignite his interest. And in the eponymous closer, Chabon pens a paean to his father, a doctor, whom he fondly remembers as a man of impossibly varied tastes and an astounding memory. Chabon expertly weaves together past and present events, infusing them with humor, pop culture, and profound observations, lovingly portraying the inspiring individuals some thought might put an end to his brilliant, vital writing career. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Chabon is always a favorite, and this collection will have special magnetism, given the initial warm response to his GQ essay about his son. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A compact collection of thematically linked essays, perfectly timed for Father's Day. Acclaimed novelist Chabon (Moonglow, 2016, etc.) takes a breezy approach in these meditations on fatherhood. The author demonstrates subtly how his own relationship with his father, whom he plainly loves but finds removed and difficult, has influenced his relationships with his children. Will his kids ever write, as he does in the powerful title essay that concludes the collection, that their father "will in other ways disappoint, disillusion, or unfavorably surprise me over the coming decades"? Not if he can help it, though he recognizes that the child-father relationship is fraught with challenges and is perhaps inherently problematic. Though he loves baseball, Chabon finds himself discouraging his son from playing for some of the same reasons his own father prevented him from playing it (pressure, failure, parents behaving like jerks). Yet he ultimately permitted his son to join—thr oughout, he is a very permissive parent, more permissive than his father's generation was likely to be—and his son had a miserable time. This caused the father to question his own lifelong devotion to the sport. His lament about kids no longer having sandlot pickup games is by no means original, but rarely has it been expressed so well: "I got reminded, every game, that this was the world my children live in: the world in which the wild watershed of childhood has been brought fully under control of the adult Corps of Engineers." The author combines perfect pitch of tone with an acute eye for detail, whether reporting on his 13-year-old son's unlikely emergence as a fashion savant—"where'd you get this kid?" designer John Varvatos once asked him. "I really have no idea," responded the author—or trying to navigate his way through reading Huckleberry Finn aloud to his children without repeating a word that makes him recoil. Even when he's driving at cruising s p eed, Chabon takes his readers for an enjoyable ride. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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