After winning plaudits for Wonder Boys, his academicians in trouble roman a clef, and genre fiction homages (The Yiddish Policeman's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay), Michael Chabon detoured into realism with Telegraph Avenue. Chabon's book chronicles the intertwined lives of two families who live and work together on the border of Oakland and Berkley in 2004. Friends Archy and Nat own and operate Brokeland Records, an independent record store on the Oakland side; their wives Gwen and Aviva run a midwifery in Berkley. Both businesses are threatened by outside forces even as the two couples must deal with the arrival of long-absent family members. Chabon reads from and signs copies of Telegraph Avenue at 7 p.m. tonight at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh, Frontenac; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is free and Left Bank will handle book sales on site.
Wed., Sept. 18, 2013