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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Diesel Bookstore Becomes "Brokeland Records" for Michael Chabon's New Book

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 7:30 AM

  • Telegraph Avenue, a novel by Michael Chabon

Oakland, Ca. It is a city whose past tangibly lingers even as it continues to change. Fresh graffiti can be seen on the old train station that once ferried commuters to a pre-Bay bridge San Francisco. The house and once headquarters of the Black Panthers is, 40 years later, just that -- a house. And on sunny afternoons, the tinny song of ice cream trucks can still be heard. 

It is also the setting for Telegraph Avenue, the new book by Michael Chabon. The novel centers around Brokeland records, run by Archy Stallings, an African-American Oakland native and Nat Jaffe, his white best friend. Racial tensions, family conflicts and the the faded glory of vinyl stand at the heart of this story, that is in many ways an ode to that, "league of solitary men united in their pursuit of the lost glories of a vanished world." 

Those who have read Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay know that his literary explorations are flavored with a special brand of comical surrealism. With the publication of Telegraph Avenue, life is imitating art in a entirely new way. Through September 14, the actual Diesel Bookstore has been transformed into the fictional Brokeland records. For real. 

The book goes on sale Tuesday, September 11. On Wednesday, September 12 at 7 p.m., Chabon will discuss the book and sign copies.

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