The Wheeler Centre
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Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman
Join this power couple of American literature as they interview each other on family and creativity. Find out how their partnership extends across various aspects of their lives, from raising children, to making marriage work and balancing their literary endeavours.
It’s hard to imagine a more fruitful blind date than the 1992 dinner in New York City that brought together Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. Within three weeks, the pair were engaged and the next year they were married.
They’ve since had four children and between them, released more than twenty books. In 2000, Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. The book, which celebrates the golden era of adventure comic books, was loved by critics and the general reading public alike. Described in the New York Times as a ‘towering achievement’, Kavalier & Clay was a bestseller. It won Chabon – an exuberant, funny, warm-hearted writer – a large and devoted following.
Ayelet Waldman is also a bestselling author of both non-fiction and novels, including 2014’s highly regarded Love and Treasure. Her hilarious, controversial essay collection, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace was a major hit of 2010. In a provocative corrective to the idea of selfless, sexless early motherhood, Waldman has been outspoken about the passionate relationship she continues to enjoy with her husband. ‘I love my husband more than I love my children,’ she once asserted. Waldman has described the love between her and Chabon as central to the family dynamic: ‘The children are satellites, beloved but tangential.’
Note: unfortunately, we had some issues with the recording of the Wheeler Centre's discussion at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne – so instead, we bring you Chabon and Waldman's discussion at Sydney Writers' Festival 2015, held one night prior.