Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon


Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon

In his new book, Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces, (out just in time for Father’s Day) Michael Chabon delivers a heartfelt, funny and beautifully written tribute to fatherhood - and I am thrilled to report that you do not even need to be a Dad to enjoy it!

In seven short essays, Chabon successfully shines a bright and warm light on the myriad af emotions and experiences that define parenthood in general, and fatherhood in particular. A father of four himself, Chabon dedicates his essays to his children and shares experiences that have defined his relationship with them - and, in the final essay, with his own “Pops”.

In Little Man (my personal favorite) Chabon describes a trip he took with his then 13-year old, fashion obsessed son, Abraham, to Paris Fashion Week (while writing an article for GQ) and how he slowly over the course of just a few days realises how the world we create for our children, as important as it is, can and will only ever be just a corner of their lives.

“You are born into a family and those are your people, and they know you and they love you, and if you are lucky, they even on occasion manage to understand you. And that ought to be enough. But it is never enough.”

In Against Dickitude (another favorite, if only for the title:) Chabon describes with great insight and self deprecating wit the challenges of raising boys and girls in a male dominated world and the valuable lessons he has learned from his mother, his ex-wife, his current wife and his daughter.

 “In order to be a man - a real man - I must try to imagine what it was like to be a woman[…] I have been working most of my life to imagine myself into the minds and circumstances of the women in my life. But it was not until I had daughters that I fully became aware of  - and duly horrified by - the damage that I myself, in my latent dickitude, was capable of inflicting.”

There are so many recognizable moments in Pops. One that will surely make most parents of teenagers smile is in “Be Cool or be Cast out” where Chabon while trying to support his eldest son’s attempts to fit in, remembers his own awkward teenage years and quickly realizes that “….there are few sentences more utterly devoid of meaning that those in which your parents assert your coolness.“

Pops is a “one sitting” read that will make you smile, even laugh, at times gasp in recognition and realization and it will most certainly make you reflect on the vast minefield of parenting and the immense power we have in shaping the person our child will become.

The world is full of great dads and Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces is the perfect book for the often (if not always) perfect Dad in your life. 

Happy Reading!

RESERVE YOUR COPY OF Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon  

Hannah Gough