Description: In 1989, Michael Chabon went to visit his mother in Oakland, CA where she was taking care of her terminally ill father / Chabon's grandfather. Over the course of a week, Chabon's grandfather (only referred to as "my grandfather") shared stories and anecdotes that the author had never heard before. How his grandparents met, stories of adventure and his experience in the war, how he loved model rocketry and the "heyday of the space program," and more. It's a piece of "fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir..."
Why I picked it: My mother recently found a gem just in time for my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary: a letter written by my grandmother's mother to my grandfather's mother about how "the children" had moved the wedding up a month earlier and instead of the grand affair of 150+ family and friends in Richmond, VA that had initially been planned, they would say their vows in a penthouse in New York City with only their immediate family to witness.
Much like Michael Chabon, I've been officially unofficially deemed the "documentarian" of our family and I have a very special relationship with my grandfather. He is 91 and has accomplished so much in his life. The original "Mad Man," he worked at Carl Buyer & Associates on Madison Ave. prior to starting his own public relations firm. His entrepreneurial spirit lives in me, as it does in most of my family. It's not a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, but one of my favorite videos is a clip that I shot on my iphone of my grandfather sharing the story of how he and my grandmother met, their first date, their brief "courtship," and the wedding that would follow only months later. The best part of the clip, however, is my grandmother's cameo and corrections throughout. After 65 years of marriage, they're still a team and that's something
The author is Jewish and it's fun to read references to Yiddish words my grandparents have taught me over the years.