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Michael Chabon on 'Telegraph Avenue'

Award-winning author opens up about his new book, his family, vinyl records and his writing style

Michael Chabon's new novel, Telegraph Avenue, is about two deeply intertwined families in Oakland, Calif. — one black, the other white. The story takes place in 2004, mainly in and around a store owned by the two fathers. Called Brokeland Records and a haven for secondhand-vinyl aficionados, the store is suddenly threatened by a rich ex-NFL player's plans to build a megastore in the neighborhood. The mothers from each family are midwives in practice together, and their sons are involved in a complicated friendship. It's a quirky tale, told by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chabon with his typical enthusiasm for colorful description and elaborate metaphor. His style sometimes gets in the way of the story and he may test some readers' patience with a single 12-page sentence but, overall, his writing is just jaw-droppingly good.

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