Michael Chabon (recalling youth in fiction)

I am a growing fan of this American author. His Manhood for Amateurs is a smart, humane, and often very funny non-fiction discussion of what makes for modern maleness (and what we can make of it). He’s best known for his fiction, and here’s the last paragraph — no “spoiler alert” necessary, no details are revealed — of his rather amazing debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which tells of one summer in the life of a recent college grad:

“When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness — and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”

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