Photo credit: Patricia Williams

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Public Appearance

Monday, November 4, 8pm

"Golems and Charlotte Russes”

Michael Chabon discussed The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in Alma Thomas Theater. Reception and book signing followed in Caldwell-Carvey Foyer.


Michael Chabon was born in 1963, in Washington, D.C. and was raised mostly in Columbia, an attempted utopia in the Maryland suburbs. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh, and received an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine. His first novel, a bestseller, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988) was originally written as his master’s thesis. Michael has spent most of the past fifteen years in California, with brief sojourns in Washington State, Florida, and New York State. Since 1997 he has been living with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, also a novelist, and their children, in Berkeley.

Random House published his third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, in September 2000. It followed The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys(1995), as well as two collections of short stories, A Model World and Other Stories (1988) and Werewolves in their Youth (1999). He has also written articles and essays, and a number of screenplays and teleplays. His story “Son of the Wolfman” was chosen for the 1999 O. Henry collection.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It also was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Notable Books of 2000 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It won the New York Society Library Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, and the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal.

Michael has lectured widely on topics including the art and craft of writing, the tradition of Jewish fiction, children’s literature, and Vladimir Nabokov, to name a few. He has appeared before audiences all over the United States and in Russia, Finland, the Ukraine, Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany and Canada. He has spoken to the creative teams at Pixar Animation Studios about fantasy and childhood, to the employees of Industrial Light and Magic about the art of storytelling, and to many different literary, Jewish, and corporate organizations about a wide variety of topics.

He is currently working on a screen adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay for a film to be produced by Scott Rudin. His first young adult novel, Summerland, was recently published by Talk Miramax Books. Summerland has already received laudatory reviews and film rights to the book have already been optioned.


To find reviews of Michael Chabon's books, go to our Book Reviews guide.

To find additional articles or short stories by Michael Chabon or articles about him, search for his name in Article First and Academic Search Complete. Interviews and other material can be found by using a search engine .

Books by Michael Chabon
Summerland (October 2002)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)
Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories (1999)
Wonder Boys (1995)
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988)
A Model World and Other Stories (1988)

Select Short Stories by Michael Chabon
"Along the Frontage Road." New Yorker, November 19, 2001, Vol. 77 Issue 36, p74.
"The God of Dark Laughter." New Yorker, April 2, 2001, Vol. 77 Issue 6, p86.
"The Hofzinser Club." New Yorker, July 19, 1999, Vol. 75 Issue 19, p78.

Select Articles by Michael Chabon
"The Hand on My Shoulder." Vogue, Oct. 1997, 379-81.
"It's in the Cards." New York Times Magazine, July 21, 1991. Vol. 140 Issue 4866, p10.
"The Language of Lost History." Harper's Magazine, Oct. 1997, Vol. 295 Issue 1769, p32.
"Maps and Legends." Architectural Digest, April 2001, Vol. 58 Issue 4, p46.

Select Articles About Michael Chabon
Binelli, Mark. "The Amazing Story of the Comic-Book Nerd who Won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction." Rolling Stone, Sept. 27, 2001 Issue 878, p58.
Buzbee, Lewis. "Michael Chabon: Comics Came First." The New York Times Book Review, Sept. 24, 2000, p9.
Fowler, Douglas. "The Short Fiction of Michael Chabon: Nostalgia in the Very Young." Studies in Short Fiction, 32(1), Winter 1995, p75.
Hubbard, Kim. "Natural Wonder." People, June 26, 1995, p63-4.
Nickell, K. "WD Interview: Michael Chabon." The Writer's Digest, Apr. 2002: p20-21.
"Two Writers Examine Their Bouts with Illness; Michael Chabon gets the Third-Book Blues." Time, 145, no. 15, (April 10, 1995): p83.


Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2001
American Library Association Notable Books of 2000
New York Society Library Prize for Fiction
Bay Area Book Reviewers Award
Commonwealth Club Gold Medal
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Super and Less-Than-Superheroes: a Talk With the Amazing Chabon. An October 2000 interview about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Ellen Kanner from BookPage: America's Book Review.

Interview with Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air" May 1, 2001, two weeks after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Includes Chabon reading from the novel.

The Commonwealth Club of California Archive--Michael Chabon
In this interview, Chabon discusses Kavalier and Clay, golems, comics and World War II, the Wonder Boys film, and more. October 2001 interview by Barbara Lane, Director of the California Book Awards.

A Word Game
A vocabulary game to play with one player or in teams. Vocabulary based on Chabon's challenging word choices ("kolnischwasser," "plimsoll," "psittacocis," etc.) in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Chabon is quoted in an April 2002 Entertainment Weekly article saying, "I was trying to challenge the reader. I figured some people would try to figure them out, and others would just skip over them."

Wonder Boys (Movie and Novel)

Wonder Boys: The Movie
Yahoo! Movies site includes synopses of the film and excerpts from critical reviews.

"Things Have Changed," an original song written and performed by Bob Dylan for "Wonder Boys" was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Song Written for Motion Picture and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The song also won "Best Original Song" at the 73rd annual Academy Awards. The Broadcast Film Critics named "Wonder Boys" one of the Top Ten Films of 2000 and nominated the movie for Best Picture of the Year. The same group awarded Frances McDormand Best Supporting Actress and named Steve Kloves' script Best Screenplay Adaptation.


Michael Chabon's own website, subtitled "Underpinnings, Recurring Subjects, Passing Fancies. And a Smattering of Random Reading Material." The site includes essays, autobiographical sketches, links to published pieces on the web, brief historical tidbits about comic book history and other topics.
-Note- This site was last updated April 2006. The original site is now inactive.

 Interview on by Laura Miller. In this new interview, Michael Chabon talks about his new novel Summerland as well as Kavalier and Clay. Site includes audio links in MP3 and streaming audio formats.

Interview on by Dave Weich. Touches on Kavalier and Clay and other topics.

Preliminary Events

Prior to Mr. Chabon's visit to Southwestern, the library sponsored two informal discussions centering on two of Mr. Chabon's novels:
October 7th Faculty Forum Literary discussion of Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Discussion leaders: Daniel Castro, Eileen Cleere, Eric Selbin and Kim Smith.
October 21st Viewing and discussion of Wonder Boys Film adapted from Michael Chabon’s novel. Discussion leaders: David Gaines, Elizabeth Green Musselman, Christine Kiesinger and Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton.
Library Exhibits

Literary Societies Alcove, first floor: Display of Chabon's novels and short story collections

Periodical Services area, first floor: A tangentially-related display called "Sequential Art."

For more information, contact Dana Hendrix at (512) 863-1241

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