Welcome to another installment of Nonfiction November! Our topic for this week is...
Book Pairing: Match a fiction book with a nonfiction book that you would recommend.
Right now I'm re-reading one of my all-time favorite novels, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. I could write a whole post about all the ways I love this book (maybe I will do that sometime). To me, it's a contender for the elusive, unofficial title of Great American Novel (hmmm...yes, okay, definitely need to do a whole post about that).
This book is epic in scope, but to describe it briefly, it tells the story of two cousins, Sammy Clay and Joe Kavalier, as they collaborate to create a new hero during the Golden Age of comic books--The Escapist. Brooklyn- born Sammy is a young man with many ideas. Joe, a talented artist, has just arrived in New York after fleeing Nazi-occupied Prague and needs to raise money to help the rest of his family get out of Europe. This is a novel about culture and commerce, family and politics. Love, lust, history, dreams...it's about all of that. It's funny and exciting and beautifully written.
For a non-fiction book to pair with Kavalier & Clay, I've chosen Art Spiegelman's Maus. Widely considered to be a graphic masterpiece, Maus ties in pretty well with K & C, I think. In comic book form, Spiegelman tells the story of his father, who lived through the very Nazi horrors that Joe Kavalier manages to escape. Chabon and Spiegelman both address the ways in which the survivors' guilt later affects their relationships with other people. It's often heart-breaking, but such a compelling story and so beautifully rendered.
As an added connection between these two books, K & C and Maus both won Pulitzer Prizes!
What are some fiction-nonfiction pairings you'd recommend?