Penn State

Rebecca Mugridge - librarian and head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, University Libraries, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Author: Michael Chabon

Book Description:

I grew up in the Pittsburgh area and lived there until I was 35 years old. I observed the city during the tough economic times of the 1970s, when the steel industry was struggling to stay alive, and during the 1980s when it began to grow again into a thriving economy and a cultural center. I love to read fiction, and Michael Chabon is one of my favorite contemporary novelists. In The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, he evokes not only the city in which I grew up, but also many of the places in the Oakland neighborhood that I knew so well. This includes Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh, where Chabon worked while a student there. Later, when The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was published, I was also employed at Hillman Library, beginning what would be a lifelong career in libraries. I can still remember my co-workers rushing out to buy the book, and reading it very closely for what might be references to them or other co-workers. I am still incredibly fond of the city of Pittsburgh, and I’m selecting The Mysteries of Pittsburgh because it evokes the time and place that I remember so well.


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