Pops: Fatherhood in Piecesby Published 15 May 2018
|Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces.pdf|
“Magical prose stylist” Michael Chabon (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) delivers a collection of essays—heartfelt, humorous, insightful, wise—on the meaning of fatherhood.
For the September 2016 issue of GQ, Michael Chabon wrote a piece about accompanying his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, to Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Possessed with a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolized and turning a critical eye to the freshest runway looks of the season; Chabon Sr., whose interest in clothing stops at “thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties,” sat idly by, staving off yawns and fighting the impulse that the whole thing was a massive waste of time. Despite his own indifference, however, what gradually emerged as Chabon ferried his son to and from fashion shows was a deep respect for his son’s passion. The piece quickly became a viral sensation.
With the GQ story as its centerpiece, and featuring six additional essays plus an introduction, Pops illuminates the meaning, magic, and mysteries of fatherhood as only Michael Chabon can.
"Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces" Reviews
I haven't actually read this. It's an indication of how ridiculously prodigious is Chabon's output that he's written two books about fatherhood. I mistakenly thought I was reading this; in fact I've just finished the other one!
Getting advice on fatherhood from Michael Chabon is like getting urban management suggestions from, I don't know, Stockholm. Zurich.
I recognize the legitimacy of your experience but can see limited parallels between it and The Real World as I know it.
Still as addictive, ornate and stunning as anything the man has written.
Top of the Pops.
A slender book of essays on fatherhood by my favourite author. I only wish this had been longer. Warm, witty and wise, each piece has something recognisable to say about parenthood and says it in such a way that will bring a smile to the face or a tear to the eye. Ah, Michael Chabon, how wonderfully you write…
Michael Chabon's been one of my favourites for years, but I don't think he was in my top 5 until a couple of years ago when I read his piece "The Old Ball Game" on his website. It's a beautiful piece about baseball and family that always brings a tear to my eye, and firmly established him in my mind as a writer of another calibre. I'm so excited it's been included here. Chabon's not a sentimentalist, but his writing is shot through with compassion, especially in regards to his family. The beautiful warmth and humanity of his writing here will make you smile and bring those close to you even closer.
During a time in which the artist-vs-art debate has reached a fever pitch, it is positively delightful to discover that one of my favourite authors happens to be a guy worthy of admiration for both his work and his conduct. Listened to over two hours and change of chores and food prep, Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces is a stellar audiobook compilation of Chabon's reflections on fatherhood. Though I'm more familiar with Chabon's fiction, he does a splendid job infusing the same sense of wonder, intelligence, word-play, and empathy into these essays as he does his imagined tales.
It was a pleasure to discover that Chabon's verbose and superlatively imagined style extends to his nonfiction writing. Chabon's children pop off the page with minuscule details that show his affection for them and attention to their lives. Each of these stories tackles a moment in which Chabon is confronted with his own parenting challenges or when his children have surprised him with their comportment. Each of these stories is warm and suffused with hard-earned wisdom and bolstered by Chabon's decision to narrate the audiobook.
Though the theme of fatherhood unites the stories, there's sufficient variety here that had me listen to the entire running time in a single session. Chabon delivers a thoughtful meditation on male privilege, consent, feminism, and his own fumbles in past relationships that centre around a text conversation between his son and a love interest. A journey to Paris fashion week with his sartorially gifted son makes for a hilarious lambast of high fashion and a touching attempt to understand his offspring. The closing story dealing with his ailing father also makes for a poignant and beautiful finish to the entire collection.
As I've said in a previous review, Chabon never writes the same book twice. Though this is nonfiction, a lot of the warmth and humanity that has drawn me to his previous books is present in Pops: A Fatherhood in Pieces. If his previous book--the partially-nonfictional Moonglow--felt elegiac then, Pops is a sharp turn towards the optimistic and uplifting. Whatever he's up to next, you can be sure I'll be picking it up!