Michael Chabon’s Lost Tale of Architecture and The Perfect Baseball Park

Apparently, one of my favorite writers, Michael Chabon, author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, had at one point intended to write a book about an architect (among other things)

From today’s Writer’s Almanac:

He started working on his second novel. He had seen a picture of the original plans for the city of Washington, D.C., and he got an idea for a novel about an architect. Chabon later said, “It was a novel about utopian dreamers, ecological activists, an Israeli spy, a gargantuan Florida real estate deal, the education of an architect, the perfect baseball park, Paris, French cooking, and the crazy and ongoing dream of rebuilding the Great Temple in Jerusalem. It was about loss: lost paradises, lost cities, the loss of the Temple, the loss of a brother to AIDS, and the concomitant dream of Restoration or Rebuilding.

He called the novel Fountain City. He spent five years working on it and wrote 1,500 pages of manuscript. He felt he just couldn’t put the pieces together and then one night got an idea for a whole different story and decided to follow it. He wrote 15 pages in four hours. He kept working on it in secret for the next few weeks. He didn’t tell anybody. He said, “I didn’t stop to think about what I was doing or what the critics would think of it and, sweetest of all, I didn’t give a single thought to what I was trying to say. I just wrote.

He finished the book in seven months. The novel was Wonder Boys.

The perfect baseball park? A complete 1500 page manuscript? Will this potential anti-Fountainhead ever see the light of day? Ms. Rand’s text has already brainwashed too many impressionable young architecture students. It sounds like there are really a lot of great ideas in this story. Chabon deserves all the praise he has receieved and I would love for this book to get published some day.