Moonglow: A Novel. Michael Chabon.
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow: A Novel

Moonglow: A Novel

New York: HarperCollins, 2016. Hardcover; 430 numbered pages, 8vo original ¼ black cloth and white boards, gray lettering on the spine, black illustrated endpapers, $28.99 priced unclipped dust jacket. Design by Leah Carlson-Stanisic, illustrations by Adalis Martinez, endpaper photograph by Sergio34/ shuterstock, Inc.

Stated on the copyright page: First Edition with full number line; First Printing

Flat signed by Michael Chabon in black ink on publisher's bound in page

BOOK CONDITION: Book Condition: FINE; like new, internally fine | JACKET CONDITION: Jacket Condition: FINE; like new, has a small round 'SIGNED' sticker on front cover can be removed.

NOTES:

2017 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (Fiction) for (for Moonglow)




About the book:


Michael Chabon’s new book is described on the title page as “a novel,” in an author’s note as a “memoir” and in the acknowledgments as a “pack of lies.” This is neither as confusing nor as devious as it might sound, since “Moonglow” is less a self-conscious postmodern high-wire act than an easygoing hybrid of forms. Chabon has what sounds like a mostly true story to tell — about characters whose only names are “my grandmother” and “my grandfather,” and also about mental illness, snake hunting, the Holocaust and rocket science — and he may not have wanted to be bound too tightly by the constraints of literal accuracy in telling it.

At the same time, he has shaken loose the formal conventions of fiction, liberating himself in particular from the tyranny of plot. In his previous books, Chabon has always shown great skill at operating the novelistic machinery of cause and effect, foreshadowing and surprise, especially in semi-fabulist confections like “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” and “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” But in more realistic books the humming of those narrative engines can sometimes drown out the interesting cacophony of life. For me, that was the case in “Telegraph Avenue,” a well-observed slice of gentrifying urban life clogged with a bit too much Dickensian contrivance to work as well as it should have.

“Moonglow,” in happy contrast, wanders where it will, framing a series of chronologically disordered episodes from the past with conversations involving the narrator (who never tries to persuade us that he is anyone other than Michael Chabon) and various kinfolk, principally his mother and grandfather. This isn’t to say that the book lacks structure, but rather that its structure is determined by the logic of memory, and that the author has resisted the urge to do too much tidying and streamlining. The action zigzags across time and geography — from Germany in the last days of World War II through a grab bag of American locations in the decades after — with blithe indifference to the usual rules of linearity or narrative economy. A sensational and tragic revelation that might have been at the volcanic center of a more familiar kind of book is disclosed almost in passing. There are moments at which you can feel the irresistible temptation to embellish and invent, to infuse reality with Chabonesque touches of wistful Jewish magic realism, being resisted.
Photo
Credit Benjamin Tice Smith

But not entirely. “After I’m gone, write it down,” Chabon’s grandfather instructs him. “Explain everything. Make it mean something. Use a lot of those fancy metaphors of yours. Put the whole thing in proper chronological order, not like this mishmash I’m making you.” “Moonglow” both obeys these instructions and rebels against them, preserving the mishmash and mixing in generous dollops of meaning, a sprinkling of fancy metaphors and an abundance of beautiful sentences so that it becomes a rich and exotic confection. Too strict a recipe would have spoiled the charm of this layer cake of nested memories and family legends, which have been arranged with painstaking haphazardness.

Mementos, curios and old photographs figure prominently, as evidence of past actions and symbols of their hidden significance. Through these objects, recollected dialogue and his own powers of speculation, Chabon constructs a loving, partial portrait of an unlikely, volatile and durable marriage. At a synagogue gala in Baltimore in 1947, an irascible veteran from Philadelphia meets a melancholy refugee from France with a fetching accent, a young daughter and a concentration camp tattoo. The daughter will be Chabon’s mother. His scapegrace father, whom readers of “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” will recognize, makes a few brief appearances later on, but this book dwells mainly on the mysteries of the maternal line.

The union of Chabon’s grandparents is disrupted by hospitalizations and imprisonment. His grandmother, who grew up near a tannery in Lille, is haunted by visions of a “skinless horse,” a monstrous creature that seems to embody the unspeakable, intimate horrors of Nazism. Her delusions test her husband’s patience, but they also illuminate his loyalty and ardor. A tough man whose temper is hot enough to bring him close to murdering an employer (which earns him 20 months in a New York State prison), he is guided by ethical instincts that seem to him as inarguable as the laws of physics. Promises must be kept, bullies must be brought down, hypocrites must be exposed, and the weak must be protected. He is stubborn and chivalrous, blunt and generous, physically brave and intellectually nimble.

In literary terms, Chabon’s grandfather might be the humbler cousin of Swede Levov, Philip Roth’s tragic paragon of American Jewish manhood from “American Pastoral.” He occupies a similar mid-Atlantic, rapidly assimilating geographical and cultural space and embodies similar secular Jewish virtues. But the book, rather than witnessing his fall, elevates him. It’s not a chronicle of filial revenge; it’s a grandchild’s testament of wonder and devotion. Grandpa chases the Nazi rocket-builder Wernher von Braun in Germany at the end of the war and stalks a pet-killing reptile in a Florida retirement community many years later. Fascinated by space travel, he designs rockets, builds a model moon base and drives for hours to watch the shuttle launch.




About the author:


Michael Chabon (born May 24, 1963) is an American novelist, short story writer, and Pulitzer Prize winner.

Chabon's first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), was published when he was 25. He followed it with Wonder Boys (1995), and two short-story collections. In 2000, Chabon published The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a novel that John Leonard, in a 2007 review of a later novel, called Chabon's magnum opus. It received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001

His novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union, an alternate history mystery novel, was published in 2007 and won the Hugo, Sidewise, Nebula and Ignotus awards; his serialized novel Gentlemen of the Road appeared in book form in the fall of that same year. In 2012 Chabon published Telegraph Avenue, billed as "a twenty-first century Middlemarch," concerning the tangled lives of two families in the Bay Area of San Francisco in the year 2004.

His work is characterized by complex language, the frequent use of metaphor along with recurring themes, including nostalgia, divorce, abandonment, fatherhood, and most notably issues of Jewish identity. He often includes gay, bisexual, and Jewish characters in his work. Since the late 1990s, Chabon has written in an increasingly diverse series of styles for varied outlets; he is a notable defender of the merits of genre fiction and plot-driven fiction, and, along with novels, he has published screenplays, children's books, comics, and newspaper serials.




After the publication of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Chabon was mistakenly featured in a Newsweek article on up-and-coming gay writers (Pittsburgh's protagonist has liaisons with people of both sexes). The New York Times later reported that "in some ways, [Chabon] was happy" for the magazine's error, and quoted him as saying, "I feel very lucky about all of that. It really opened up a new readership to me, and a very loyal one." In a 2002 interview, Chabon added, "If Mysteries of Pittsburgh is about anything in terms of human sexuality and identity, it's that people can't be put into categories all that easily." In "On The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," an essay he wrote for the New York Review of Books in 2005, Chabon remarked on the autobiographical events that helped inspire his first novel: "I had slept with one man whom I loved, and learned to love another man so much that it would never have occurred to me to want to sleep with him.

In 1987, Chabon married the poet Lollie Groth. According to Chabon, the popularity of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh had adverse effects; he later explained, "I was married at the time to someone else who was also a struggling writer, and the success created a gross imbalance in our careers, which was problematic. He and Groth divorced in 1991.

He married the writer Ayelet Waldman in 1993. They currently live together in Berkeley, California with their four children, Sophie Waldman Chabon (born 1994), Ezekiel "Zeke" Napoleon Waldman Chabon (born 1997), Ida-Rose Waldman Chabon (born June 1, 2001), and Abraham Wolf Waldman Chabon (born March 31, 2003). Chabon has said that the "creative free-flow" he has with Waldman inspired the relationship between Sammy Clay and Rosa Saks toward the end of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and in 2007, Entertainment Weekly declared the couple "a famous—and famously in love—writing pair, like Nick and Nora Charles with word processors and not so much booze."

In a 2012 interview with Guy Raz of Weekend All Things Considered, Chabon said that he writes from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day, Sunday through Thursday. He tries to write 1,000 words a day. Commenting on the rigidity of his routine, Chabon said, "There have been plenty of self-destructive rebel-angel novelists over the years, but writing is about getting your work done and getting your work done every day. If you want to write novels, they take a long time, and they're big, and they have a lot of words in them.... The best environment, at least for me, is a very stable, structured kind of life.




Chabon has provided several subtle hints throughout his work that the stories he tells take place in a shared fictional universe. One recurring character, who is mentioned in three of Chabon's books but never actually appears, is Eli Drinkwater, a fictional catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates who died abruptly after crashing his car on Mt. Nebo Road. The most detailed exposition of Drinkwater's life appears in Chabon's 1990 short story "Smoke," which is set at Drinkwater's funeral, and refers to him as "a scholarly catcher, a redoubtable batsman, and a kind, affectionate person." Drinkwater was again referred to (though not by name) in Chabon's 1995 novel Wonder Boys, in which narrator Grady Tripp explains that his sportswriter friend Happy Blackmore was hired "to ghost the autobiography of a catcher, a rising star who played for Pittsburgh and hit the sort of home runs that linger in the memory for years."

Tripp explains that Blackmore turned in an inadequate draft, his book contract was cancelled, and the catcher died shortly afterwards, "leaving nothing in Happy's notorious 'files' but the fragments and scribblings of a ghost." In Chabon's children's book Summerland (2002), it is suggested that Blackmore was eventually able to find a publisher for the biography; the character Jennifer T. mentions that she has read a book called Eli Drinkwater: A Life in Baseball, written by Happy Blackmore. Drinkwater's name may have been selected in homage to contemporary author John Crowley, whom Chabon is on the record as admiring. Crowley's novel Little, Big featured a main character named Alice Drinkwater.

There are also instances in which character surnames reappear from story to story. Cleveland Arning, a character in Chabon's 1988 debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, is described as having come from a wealthy family, one that might be expected to be able to endow a building. Near the end of Wonder Boys (1995), it is mentioned that, on the unnamed college campus at which Grady Tripp teaches, there is a building called Arning Hall "where the English faculty kept office hours." Similarly, in Chabon's 1989 short story "A Model World," a character named Levine discovers, or rather plagiarizes, a formula for "nephokinesis" (or cloud control) that wins him respect and prominence in the meteorological field. In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), a passing reference is made to the "massive Levine School of Applied Meteorology," ostensibly a building owned by New York University.




Novels:
   The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988)
   Wonder Boys (1995)
   The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)
   The Final Solution (2004)
   The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007)
   Gentlemen of the Road (2007)
   Telegraph Avenue (2012)[1]
   Moonglow (2016)[2]

Young-adult fiction:
  Summerland (2002)

Children's books:
   The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (2011) (illustrator: Jake Parker)


Honors:
   1997 IMPAC Literary Award longlist (for Wonder Boys)
   1999 O.Henry Award Third Prize (for "Son of the Wolfman")
   2000 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (Fiction) for (for The Amazing       Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
   2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
   2000 California Book Award (Fiction) (for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)[86]
   2001 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist (for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
   2002 IMPAC Literary Award longlist (for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
   2007 Sidewise Award for Alternate History (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2007 Salon Book Award (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2007 California Book Award (Fiction) (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2008 Hugo Award for Best Novel (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2008 Nebula Award for Best Novel (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2009 Premio Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2009 IMPAC Literary Award longlist (for The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
   2009 Entertainment Weekly "End-of-the-Decade" Best of list (for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
   2010 Northern California Book Award (General Nonfiction) nomination (for Manhood for Amateurs
   2010 Elected Chairman of the Board, the MacDowell Colony
   2012 Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters
   2012 Telegraph Best Books of 2012 list (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2012 London Evening Standard Books of the Year 2012 list (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Books of 2012 List (fiction) (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2012 Hollywood.com Best Books of 2012 List (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2012 New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 List (Fiction & Poetry) (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2012 Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 finalist, Best Fiction (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2012 (fiction) finalist (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2013 California Book Award (Fiction) finalist (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2013 Fernanda Pivano Award for American Literature
   2014 IMPAC Literary Award longlist (for Telegraph Avenue)
   2017 Jewish Book Council JBC Modern Literary Achievement (citation: "For his general contribution to modern Jewish literature, including his most recent work, Moonglow, described by Jewish Book Council’s committee as “a moving panorama of Jewish experience. Chabon serves up his colossal tale of darkness and light in fabulous language, as befits this modern fable.”)
   2017 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (Fiction) for (for Moonglow)


**Information gathered from places such as Wikipedia and GoodReads.**

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Item #36



ISBN: 9780062225559

Price: $55.00

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