FEATURED EBOOK

Chabon’s sensational debut novel: the coming-of-age story of Art Bechstein, a recent graduate whose life is forever changed by one sultry summer
Art Bechstein may be too young to know what he wants to do with his life, but he knows what he doesn’t want: the life of his father, a man who laundered money for the mob. Bechstein spends the summer after his graduation from a Pittsburgh university searching for his future and finding his own sort of trouble with brilliant and seductive new friends—erudite, unscrupulous Arthur Lecomte, mercurial Phlox, and Cleveland, a poetry-reciting biker. Insightful and energetic, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh beautifully renders the hard edges of a blue-collar city and the charm of its local characters. This ebook features a biography of the author.

ABOUT Michael Chabon

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Michael Chabon is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). One of America’s most distinctive voices, Chabon has been called “a magical prose stylist” by the New York Times Book Review, and is known for his lively writing, nostalgia for bygone modes of storytelling, and deep empathy for the human predicament.

    Born to two lawyers, Robert and Sharon, in Washington, DC, in 1963, Chabon was raised in Columbia, Maryland. As a young boy, he became interested in writing and storytelling through the encouragement of his teachers. His parents divorced when he was eleven, and his father moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Until Chabon graduated high school, he would spend nine months a year with his mother in Maryland and summers with his father in Pittsburgh. He then moved to Pittsburgh fulltime to attended Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh universities.

    After receiving his undergraduate degree, Chabon sought an MFA in creative writing from the University of California at Irvine. His master’s thesis attracted the attention of professor Donald Heiney, an award-winning author, who sent the manuscript to his agent without telling Chabon beforehand. The book, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), set off a bidding war among publishers and earned Chabon a large advance and bestselling success at the age of twenty-four. The experience was gratifying but disorienting. Chabon worked for the next five years on a novel called Fountain City, a sprawling manuscript that he never completed.

    After abandoning work on his would-be second novel, and ending his first marriage to poet Lollie Groth, Chabon poured his frustrations into a new manuscript, about a writer struggling to complete a 2,611-page book after a string of previous successes. The novel, Wonder Boys (1995), was another bestseller and became a film of the same name in 2000, starring Michael Douglas, Frances McDormand, and Robert Downey Jr. His story collections A Model World and Other Stories (1991) and Werewolves in Their Youth (1999) further displayed Chabon’s literary talents, but he cemented his place among the country’s foremost novelists with the publication of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. The book, which chronicles the adventures of two Jewish cousins in New York City against the backdrop of World War II, earned Chabon a Pulitzer Prize, among other accolades. His subsequent novels include The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007), which also met with critical and commercial success and won the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus awards for science fiction, among other honors.

    Chabon married the novelist Ayelet Waldman in 1993, and the couple has four children. Aside from narrative fiction, Chabon has worked as a screenwriter, helping with adaptations of his work and with movie projects such as Spider-Man 2. He has also contributed essays to magazines such as Harper’s and the New Yorker. An outspoken proponent of genre fiction, Chabon published Maps and Legends, a collection of critical essays defending literature as a vehicle for entertainment, in 2008.

    Chabon lives in Berkeley, California.

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