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Michael Chabon

By

Michael Chabon

© Stephanie Rausser

Birth:

Michael Chabon (pronounced SHAY-bon) was born May 24, 1963 in Washington, D.C.

Michael Chabon's Background:

Michael Chabon, the son of a physician father and a lawyer mother who divorced when Chabon was 11, was raised in both Columbia, Maryland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Carnegie Mellon University for a year, but ended up receiving hs BA from the University of Pittsburgh before attending graduate school at the University of California, Irvine where he received his MFA in Creative Writing.


Formerly married to the poet Lollie Groth, Chabon was divorced in 1991 and remarried to the writer Ayelet Waldman in 1993. They have four children and reside in Berkeley, California.

Michael Chabon's Writing:

Chabon saw writing success early on. His first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, was written as his master's thesis before it was submitted to a literary agent by his professor. Upon publication in 1988, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh instantly became a bestseller.

After this initial success, Chabon spent five years struggling with a second novel, which he eventually abandoned for an entirely different story, one that became Wonder Boys (1995), which was also highly successful.


In 2000, Chabon published The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, was nominated for numerous other literary awards, and is widely considered to be his best work to date. Kavalier & Clay is the story of two young Jewish cousins whose meeting in 1939 ignites a luminous career in comic books at a time in history when the art form exploded in American popular culture.


It's well known that Michael Chabon is a celebrant of genre fiction, and he has shown no trepidation at all in exploring the genres in his work: Kavalier & Clay (2000) is historical fiction with a comics focus, Summerland (2002) is a fantasy novel for young readers; The Final Solution (2004) and The Yiddish Policeman's Union (2007); and Gentlemen of the Road is a swash-buckling adventure story that was serialized first in The New York Times Magazine. In 2008, Chabon published a collection of essays entitled Maps and Legends in which he writes about the merit of the genres.


In his novels, Chabon explores themes of Jewish identity, family, and magic. He once told the press that he adhered to a rigid and consistent writing routine of 1,000 words a day, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

"There have been plenty of self-destructive rebel-angel novelists over the years, but writing is about getting your work done and getting your work done every day."

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