By Michael Chabon
200 pages. McSweeney's.
Maps and Legends (McSweeney's), Michael Chabon's first collection of nonfiction, makes an inviting case for bridging the gap between popular and literary writing, as he considers the high and the low, from comics to Cormac McCarthy. Like the makers of golems, creatures of Jewish legend, "the writer shapes his story, flecked like river clay with the grit of experience and rank with the smell of human life." Vital energy and a boundless appetite for risk give these essays their electric charge