Michael Chabon, Fitzgerald Theater May 22, 2007

A few things, in list form about Chabon’s appearance, as I’m tired and feel a cold coming on.

One of Chabon’s favorite books is Pride and Prejudice. When the interviewer expressed surprise at this, his voice gently chided her as he asked whether she was surprised that he had picked it, or that it was considered great at all. He admired Austen’s ability to dial up and down her ironic and perfectly pitched voice in the service of her characters. He also said that Elizabeth Bennet is one of the very few main characters that he never tires of spending time with.

While he was writing three of his recent novels–Summerland, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union–people sent him books by other authors that had similar, out-there themes. He waited till after he’d finished his book to read them. (American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a book about comic strips, and The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, respectively.)

Chabon no longer writes through the night, as he did when he was younger. He prefers waking early to spend the beginning of the day with his kids before they go to school, as opposed to 4 to 6 pm, which he noted is the hardest time of the day with kids. (Amen to that.) He also no longer writes short fiction, since the time he used to devote to it is now given to his four children, who range in age from four to thirteen. He likes to read fairy tales to them, since it’s something that can engage all ages.

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