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Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy us

In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain in the ongoing magic act that is the art of Michael Chabon.

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies. A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the twentieth century, Moonglow is also a tour de force of speculative history in which Chabon attempts to reconstruct the mysterious origins and fate of Chabon Scientific, Co., an authentic mail-order novelty company whose ads for scale models of human skeletons, combustion engines and space rockets were once a fixture in the back pages of Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and Boy’s Life. Along the way Chabon devises and reveals, in bits and pieces whose hallucinatory intensity is matched only by their comic vigor and the radiant moonglow of his prose, a secret history of his own imagination.

From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill Prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of “the American Century,” Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring, his most moving, his most Chabonesque.

Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:430 pages

    Moonglow Reviews

  • Paromjit
    Jan 28, 2017

    Michael Chabon pulls off a hybrid memoir and a contested fictional multigenerational family history peppered with anecdotes and stories from his heavily medicated grandfather on his deathbed. Chabon u...

  • Elyse
    Nov 26, 2016

    "'Moonglow' has been looked up 2315 times, is no one's favorite word yet, has been added to 3 lists, has 1 comment, and is not a valid SCRABBLE word". Michael Chabon: I love your classy name - your bo...

  • Angela M
    Oct 03, 2016

    4.5 stars Michael Charon has held a place in my literary heart ever since I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and has insured that place with his latest book. Chabon's inspiration for the...

  • Darwin8u
    Nov 30, 2016

    "I see the hidden lovers, fates entangled like their bodies, waiting for release from the gravity that held them down all their lives."- Michael Chabon, MoonglowFantastic. I needed to chew on this for...

  • Diane S ?
    Oct 12, 2016

    Memoir, fictional novel, exaggerations or just Chabon's musings, whichever way you choose to look at it, just know this book was written with a great deal of love. It shines through in the writing.As ...

  • Cheri
    Mar 14, 2017

    4.5 StarsChabon’s Author’s Note at the beginning of Moonglow this states:In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the...

  • Sean Gibson
    Feb 13, 2017

    Given the opportunity, and if I could work out the mechanics of it, I would do some things to Michael Chabon’s prose, things that would make Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson blush. Because that stuff is...

  • Julie
    Dec 13, 2016

    Moonglow by Michael Chabon is a 2016 Harper publication. I must admit, up front, that I’ve never a book by this author. That is not to say I don’t have his books sitting on my shelves or loaded on...

  • Rebecca Foster
    Nov 10, 2016

    Chabon’s seventh novel was inspired by his maternal grandfather’s deathbed confessions in 1989—or was it? A tongue-in-cheek author’s note refers to this as a “memoir,” and it’s narrated ...

  • Sam
    Nov 19, 2016

    "I'm disappointed in myself. In my life. All my life, everything I tried, I only got halfway there. You try to take advantage of the time you have. That's what they tell you to do. But when you're o...

About Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty-four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), which was a major critical and commercial success. He then published Wonder Boys (1995), another bestseller, which was mad