Ask your grandparents questions about themselves before it's too late, urges novelist Michael Chabon.

“If your grandparents are still alive, embarrass them and yourself,” the author Michael Chabon recently told an audience in Nashville. “Try to think about the things you really want to know about and ask them.”

Chabon’s latest book, Moonglow, is a novel masquerading as a memoir about his grandparents, who died in the 1980s. In real life, says Chabon, 53, he never found out much about them.

“When you get to the age you want to know about the real people that your grandparents were, that is usually the age that you’ve lost them.” 

“You have to be generally in your mid-20s before it occurs to you that your grandfather and grandmother were human beings that had sex and had professional failures at work. I cannot actually imagine the content of the conversations they had at the dinner table in 1934. There’s nobody you can ask anymore.”