Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chabon Delays Release of Newest Novel

Michael Chabon recently announced the delay of his newest novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Information below is taken from Chabon's website,

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

As of December 10, 2005, 07:21 AM

Alert readers of the Schedule page on this website may notice that a number of dates (twenty-six in all) have been deleted. These dates represented the putative book publicity tour for The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

I have decided never to do another such tour, and from now on to refuse to be photographed or interviewed. With my family I am retreating to a fire-spotting tower on a mountain outside of Trinity, California. When I am required by some extraordinary circumstance to make a public appearance I will send a lookalike, wearing my trademark voluminous alpaca topcoat and a vintage-1984 Debra Winger model Rene of Paris wig.

Actually, with my publisher's generous assent, I pulled the plug on April publication.

HarperCollins had been sort of rushing the thing along, over a steady but polite murmur from the author that perhaps they were moving too quickly. The manuscript was complete. It was not impossible to make the April 11 pub date. But we didn't even have a finished jacket. Many people who were selling and marketing the book hadn't had the opportunity to read it. Everything just felt too rushed and when that sense of undue haste finally caught on at the publishing house, I was able to persuade them to see reason, and wait.

Unfortunately, their Fall list is already set, which means that the book won't come out until Winter 2007. I had hoped never to repeat the seven-year gap between The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys, but now--if you don't count Summerland (for younger readers) or The Final Solution (a novella)--I will have done it again. Oh, well.

The good news, from my point of view, is that I will now be able to take the step that I had been obliged by the accelerated schedule to sacrifice: giving the book to some trusted readers, some of them with special knowledge of the subjects involved. Based on their responses, I will have a last precious opportunity to take one more run through the manuscript.

Anyway, if you were hoping to get to read it anytime soon, or to come hear me read from it this April, I'm sorry. I promise it is going to be worth the wait.

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