Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
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An Evening With Michael Chabon

Tue, February 20, 2024
Dinner Program
Michael Chabon

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter, and essayist Michael Chabon will join Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions George Thomas for a brief reading followed by a wide-ranging discussion about literature and society. 

A prolific writer who blends and subverts genre conventions, Chabon has published novels, personal essays, comics, newspaper serials, screenplays, and children's books, as well as collaborated with acclaimed music producer Mark Ronson as a lyricist for Ronson's album Uptown Special.  As a screenwriter, he was executive producer, writer, and showrunner for the first season of Star Trek: Picard starring Patrick Stewart, and is now co-showrunner of the forthcoming Showtime series The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

(Photo credit: Sarah Lee)

Michael Chabon is one of the country's most recognized and decorated modern writers. He studied at Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at UC Irvine, and has spent most of the past two decades 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 writer, and their children, in Berkeley.

Chabon’s first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), was originally written for his master’s thesis at U.C. Irvine and became a New York Times bestseller. Chabon’s second novel, Wonder Boys, was also a bestseller, and was made into a critically-acclaimed film featuring actors Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire.

Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Notable Books of 2000 and won the New York Society Library Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2020, the New York Public Library voted The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay one of the 125 most important books of the last 125 years.

His New York Times bestselling novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007), an alternate history detective story, won both the Nebula Award and Hugo Award for Best Novel. His other novels include Gentlemen of the Road (2007), Telegraph Avenue (2012), and Moonglow (2016). Moonglow was awarded the California Book Award’s Gold Medal as well as the Jewish Book Council’s 2016 Modern Literary Achievement Award “for his general contribution to modern Jewish literature, including his most recent work, Moonglow.”

Chabon has lectured widely on topics including the art and craft of writing, the tradition of Jewish fiction, and Vladimir Nabokov, to name but a very few. In March 2012 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the recipient of the 2020 St. Louis Literary Award, and was the chairman of the board of directors at the MacDowell Colony from 2010 - 2020.

Michael Chabon's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
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Claremont, CA 91711


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