chabonWhat do these three things have in common? They’re all a part of the new project tentatively titled “Hobgoblin” which will be co-written by Berkeley couple Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. As you might have guessed, they also pretty much sum up the premise of the show. In this WWII drama, conmen and magicians use their abilities to combat Hitler and his forces.

Working with scripts is nothing new to Chabon and he has also written novels including “Wonder Boys,” which was made into a movie starring Michael Douglas. Another of his novels, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” is currently being developed at Sony with Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen.

Waldman’s work includes “Bad Mother” and “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” which was adapted into “The Other Woman,” starring Natalie Portman. She and her husband have never worked together before, but how can you go wrong with magicians fighting Hitler?

Image Source: kwc under Creative Commons
Michael Chabon casts spell on HBO [Variety]

Michael Chabon, one of the Clog’s many wonder boy literary Jew crushes, the man who won a Pulitzer Prize for keeping us hog-tied inside an airtight vessel, haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini as we smuggled our way out of Nazi-invaded Prague and into the cartoon business of New York City, is indulging us in a free talk next week.

Chabon will be in conversation with Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Lit Robert Alter on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. Wheeler Auditorium. Tov, toda, UC Berkeley Jewish Studies program. We personally can’t wait.

Image Source: Ryan Gessner under Creative Commons
Michael Chabon – Berkeley Seminars In Modern Jewish Culture Lecture [UC Berkeley Events]


English majors, get out your first edition books and be ready to salivate, because novelists (and literary power couple) Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman are coming to the Berkeley Rep next Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

They will be talking with columnist Jon Carroll in a fundraiser for the Park Day School, a progressive school in Oakland. Chabon and Waldman have four kids, and they’ve both written on parenting, so you can bet your sweet bippy they’ll be passionate about this topic.

Chabon is best known for read more »

Good news for lovers of hard-hitting investigative journalism. The highly anticipated release of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern No. 33 will arrive in the form of a 300-page single edition daily newspaper: “San Francisco Panorama.” Better news for us (broke as hell) Bay Area kiddies: the Quarterly will be available to us for the (much discounted) price of $5 on the day it comes out, Dec. 8.

The bylines alone reek of staggering genius. Writing from Michael Chabon, Miranda July, Roddy Doyle, Stephen King, William T. Vollman, Berkeley’s own Poet Laureate Robert Hass and read more »


This Thursday will mark the second reading in this year’s Story Hour series in Doe Library. From the looks of the schedule, they are monthly. Last month, the Clog’s own Valerie Woolard met Daniel Handler (nee Lemony Snicket–er, was it the other way around?) at the first Story Hour, and he wrote her the above note. Which is awesome. So awesome that we’re only talking about it so we could justify using the picture again.

This week, you can meet (and perhaps garner an awesome autograph note from) author Annie Barrows, who’s written read more »

Michael Chabon inaugurated the new academic year of Story Hour with the first chapter (and afterword) of his recent novel “Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure.” The original title? “Jews with Swords.”

Reaching the podium, a “J” of his cursive graying brown hair casually hanging across his forehead, Chabon looked across the packed Morrison Library. “I feel like the lyrics of that Nirvana song: ‘Here we are now, entertain us.’” It was the first joke of many that would leave the audience riveted to his every word, both scripted and off-the-cuff.

He had never read from “The Gentlemen” before, having published it just several months before his latest novel, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” Initially “The Gentlemen” was a serial novel staged in 14 parts of exactly to-the-tee 2,000 words, Chabon said. The work is set in the world of the Khazars, an ancient Jewish kingdom.

He opened to the first chapter, reading down into the microphone, and had his voiced affected like the teller of a ghost story or Western duel. The audience sat, enraptured, while we counted vocabulary that could quite possibly appear on our looming GRE:

read more »

Yes, yet another literary reading/public appearance. But these people are so amazing!

Next week, Michael Chabon will kick off the new year of Story Hour in Doe Library. He is scheduled to appear Thursday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m., and the event will include a book sale and a reception (free food?).

Chabon is a local writer who is much-decorated, including the biggie Pulitzer Prize. His works include “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” and “The Wonder Boys,” among others. “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” is his most recent novel.

Image Source: kwc under Creative Commons
Michael Chabon [Story Hour 2008]