Portrait of Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon

Michael 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 (1995), was also a bestseller, and was made into a critically-acclaimed film featuring actors Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire.

His third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It won the New York Society Library Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Chabon’s most recent novel is Telegraph Avenue (2012). He recently collaborated with acclaimed music producer Mark Ronson as lyricist for Ronson’s album titled Uptown Special (January 2015). Since 1997, he has been living with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, also a novelist, and their children, in Berkeley.

Chabon is also the author of two collections of short stories, A Model World and Other Stories (1990) and Werewolves In Their Youth (1999). His first young adult novel, Summerland, was published in 2002 by Talk Miramax Books and won the 2003 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.

He recently accepted the position of chairman of the board of directors at the MacDowell Colony. In March 2012 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He has written articles and essays, a number of screenplays, including John Carter (March 2012), and teleplays (as well as sharing story credit for Spiderman 2), and edited The Best American Short Stories 2005. Chabon’s story ‘Son of the Wolfman’ was chosen for the 1999 O. Henry collection and for a National Magazine Award.

Chabon’s novella The Final Solution (2004) was awarded the 2005 National Jewish Book Award and also the 2003 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction by The Paris Review.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a hardboiled detective novel set in an alternate world where Israel failed to be born and millions of European Jewish refugees took shelter in Alaska, creating a miniature American Yiddishland. It became a New York Times bestseller immediately upon publication and was nominated for an Edgar Award; it also won the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2008.

In November 2007, his short swashbuckling adventure novel, Gentlemen of the Road, serialized in fifteen chapters in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, was published by Del Rey.

His first children’s book, entitled The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man, illustrated by Jake Parker, was published in September 2011.

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.

Chabon was born in 1963, in Washington, D.C.

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