A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities,
and Occasional Moments of Grace
Manhood for Amateurs:
Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son
The bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Werewolves in Their Youth, Wonderboys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon “takes [his] brutally observant, unfailingly honest, marvelously human gaze and turns it on his own life” (Time) in his bestselling memoir Manhood for Amateurs (now in paperback).
“Hilarious, moving, pleasurable, disturbing, transcendent, restless. . . . And seemingly by accident, Chabon ultimately does create a composite image of ideal manhood, one that is modest, responsible, bemused, empathic, and thoughtful.” -- Jeremy Adam Smith, San Francisco Chronicle
Joining the conversation this evening is his wife, Ayelet Waldman, whose own most recent book, Bad Mother, is also just out in paperback. Hilarious, heartbreaking, provocative and poignant, it’s a motherhood memoir like no other.Written in a voice that could only have emerged from Waldman’s pen, Bad Mother is a book guaranteed to stir strong opinions in every woman who reads it.
Let’s face it, when it comes to motherhood if you work, you’re neglectful; if you stay home, you’re smothering. If you discipline, you’re buying them a spot on the shrink’s couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. If you buy organic, you’re spending their college fund; if you don’t, you’re risking all sorts of allergies and illnesses. Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as a “bad mother”? Ayelet Waldman says it’s time for women to get over it and get on with it, in a book that is sure to spark the same level of controversy as her now legendary “Modern Love” piece in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children.
“This is not only a wonderfully written book, but I think it may also be a book of great salvation for many women. Most of the mothers I know (the honest ones, the tired ones, the confused ones) will see themselves reflected in these wise pages and will find long-overdue comfort here.” -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Absorbing reading . . . takes brave risks. . . . What really makes Waldman’s book interesting, as voices on motherhood go, is Waldman herself—the intensity of her positions and the way she thinks.” -- The New York Times Book Review
Ayelet Waldman is the author of Daughter’s Keeper, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (the latter of which is being made into amovie starring Natalie Portman), and the forthcoming Red Hook Road. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, New York, Elle, Vogue and other publications. Ayelet and Michael live in Berkeley with their four children.