Favorite Short Story Writer: American Author Michael Chabon

by on February 2nd, 2011
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Michael Chabon (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys), whom I discovered quite by accident in the late 1980s, has always been at the top of my must-read list of contemporary writers. Over time, he has scored points as my favorite short story writer. The reasons are quite simple: his writing exudes this J.D. Salinger vibe where it’s all about identity and finding oneself in most confusing moment or landscape. I also like the fact that since he began publishing at the age of 25, his work exemplifies the post-modern world, one that includes a wide variety of diverse characters and themes. No surprise it’s been reported that Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Raymond Chandler, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth and F. Scott Fitzgerald count among his literary influences.

Who is Michael Chabon? Only a bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of several books, short story collections, essays, screenplays, and more. Currently, he lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their four children. As a result of his early rise to fame and fortune, Chabon’s had the opportunity to explore other forms of literature and media, including children’s books and movies.

Born and raised in Washington, DC, in 1999, Michael Chabon produced a collection of short stories entitled, Werewolves in Their Youth which explores the potential criminal desire that exists deep within decent, law-abiding or otherwise good people. A Model World and Other Stories (1991) also presents an interesting collections of mood and characters. What will stay with you when you read Chabon is his gift of writing the most colorful and descriptive passages which seem to get at the moment, the feeling, or whatever it is he’s trying to say. In addition, as an author, he seems to really inhabit these characters and, as a result, seems to get their personalities, quirks, motivations, drive and more.

Michael Chabon is one novelist and short story writer whose work continues to surprise and challenge the reader. I’m grateful to have stumbled on his writing when I did and it was no surprise that he’s risen to great heights in the literary world. He was talented then and continues to evolve as a writer of the human condition. I can only imagine that “Occupy Oakland” and all the other wonderful stuff going on in Berkeley and beyond will inspire Chabon to give us more unique voice, characters and scenes.

Novels

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988)
Wonder Boys (1995)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)
The Final Solution (2004)
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007)
Gentlemen of the Road (2007)
Telegraph Avenue (upcoming)

Young-adult fiction

Summerland (2002)

Short story collections

A Model World and Other Stories (1991)
Werewolves in Their Youth (1999)

RESOURCES

Official Website for Michael Chabon
www.michaelchabon.com

Boy to Man: Amazing Adventures
By Michiko Kakutani (October 18, 2009)
in Books of the Times in The New York Times Online

Michael Chabon
Steven Barclay Agency


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