Telegraph Avenue Telegraph Avenue discussion


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Live Video Chat with Michael Chabon

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown Join us on Wednesday, September 18, at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with author Michael Chabon. We'll be discussing his latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, as well as his previous work, and his life as an author.

If you have a question for Chabon, please ask it below!


Nathan Phillips Mr. Chabon,
In your novels you always have an intricate balance between aesthetics (the lyrical qualities that make your writing beautiful) and plot (the movement of the story). Can you discuss how you strike that balance? Do you ever have to sacrifice one for the other?

Also,
If you were in the character's position in the novel, of someone trying to push you out of your job, who would it be?

Thanks so much,
Nathan Phillips


message 3: by Roberta (new)

Roberta Finney My son loves The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. I was wondering if you were going to be writing anymore children's stories?


message 4: by Chloe (new)

Chloe YPU is one of the most hilarious and best books I have read in my life. Thank you for writing it.


Dina What will your next book be about? I love all of your books!


message 6: by Diana (new)

Diana I am busy at that time and day - will the video chat be available to watch later? P.S. I LOVE your books!


Christian Hamaker Do you listen to the audio versions of your books? I struggled with "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" audiobook, but Clarke Peters' narration of "Telegraph Avenue" is superb. I have no idea if authors have any say in the narrators of their books, bujt you should check out Peters' narration of "Telegraph Avenue."


message 8: by Allene (new)

Allene Just want to say how much I enjoyed Wonder Boys. I have yet to read the book and was wondering how close the movie followed it. Your sense of humor is great as well as your timing. As soon as my schedule lightens, I intend to read all your books Thank you for sharing your gift in writing with us..


Samuel DiSalle q are you a fan of the author david foster wallace and did you ever meet him personally?


message 10: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate I'm nearly finished with The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and can already see the first seeds of The Wonder Boys in there. How do you feel you've changed as an author since the early novels?


message 11: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate q I'm nearly finished with The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and can already see the first seeds of The Wonder Boys in there. How do you feel you've changed as an author since the early novels?


message 12: by Asher (new)

Asher Radunsky Dear Michael Chabon, you are a fantastic modern writer. What makes a novel great instead of something that "merely" holds the reader in a state of amusement? Also perhaps for Kavalier and Clay you researched extensively Holocaust history and comic book history but you left that research behind primarily. How did you decide to just write and let the story take over? For instance the scene where Joe is talking and talking about all the things he learned from cinema technique - you could have gone into that but you didn't. Also I hope you had a good Yom Kippur. Please have a good High Holy days.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I hope you put 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' on audiobook someday what are the chances of that?


message 14: by citizenmilton (last edited Sep 14, 2013 12:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

citizenmilton q "Telegraph Avenue" captures the idea of obsessive-nerd passion for a subject with several wonderful examples. Your status as a comic-book obsessive is well established. What about Blaxploitation Cinema and Jazz? Were those topics you always wanted to write about, or did you have to research one of those topics?


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin Glasser My friend turned me on to The Amazing Adventures of K&K & I've read most of your books ever since. Why? Because your language is gorgeous and has inspired me (an author) to phrase my words in an interesting/unique way. Thanks, Michael Chabon


message 16: by Clint (new)

Clint Mr. Chabon, From the beginning of your writing career, you have found ways to reject formal genre limitations by combining styles in service of your story. Do you ever consider your place among contemporary writers, or do you try to remain unconcerned with your place in the American literary landscape? To that end, what do you think is the biggest strength and weakness of contemporary American literature?


message 17: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon Me too I can't watch then but would love to view chat in the evening after work


message 18: by Dori (new)

Dori Hi Mr Chabon, when you have an idea for a story, do you spend much time researching before you start writing or do you just dig into the actually writing process and research as you go?


Debbie Arthur Q thank you for sharing your stories with us. There were rumors that the Coen Brothers were going to direct a movie based on "the Yiddish Policeman's Union" I hope the project hasn't been abandoned! Also, it would have been pretty cool if you had included a list of all the songs and artists you mentioned in "Telegraph Avenue" at the end of the book. .


Labmom qOne of the reasons I so enjoy reading your work is because your expansive vocabulary forces me to look up many unfamiliar words, and therefore increase my own word power. But, in the story "Millionaires" from "A Model World" you use the word "buscalation" to describe an intimate encounter, and despite much searching I could not find its exact meaning. Did you create this term? What excatly did you want to say that the many and varied words to describe physical intimacy did not provide you with? Why the need for the neologism?


Suzana Maloparac oliver How much is your storytelling influenced by traditional Jewish lore and am I mistaken if I hear the echoes of Sholem Aleichem inyour stories?


message 22: by Peter (new)

Peter Sargent q which was your favorite book to write? to read after the fact?


message 23: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Scott q Would you consider The Mysteries of Pittsburg as a memoir laced with exaggeration or a novel laced with truth?


message 24: by Remy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Remy Schor Hi Michael,

Ever since hearing you say that you tend to re-read your favorite ~20-or-so novels, and that The Road is one of them, I've wondered if you named Professor Grady after John Grady? I know that John Grady isn't from The Road but thought it might be homage to McCarthy none-the-less?

Thanks for all the books,
Remy Schor


Lorraine Mr. Chabon, Please talk about your use of simile in your writing. Your sentences are often a joy, worthy of reading regardless of plot. Do you struggle to make your use of language so fresh and playful?


message 26: by Renee (new)

Renee What authors and books are your favorites now in 2013 and when you started as a writer for initial inspiration and craft mastery examples as a writer?


message 27: by Russell (new)

Russell Buyse q Is there any chance I can read the first draft of the Meyer Landsman story you wrote before "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"?


message 28: by Russell (new)

Russell Buyse Simon Larkin: I listened to an excellent audiobook production of "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" read by Peter Reigert and produced by Recorded Books.


message 29: by Linda (new)

Linda My favorite novel of yours is "Summerland". How did you come up the idea of these different views of reality?


Carmen Daza Márquez Dear Mr. Chabon, I am a huge fan of yours from the beginning. It was terrible having to wait for five years for your new novel, although I enjoyed your non fiction work in the meantime. I hope you don't intend to make us wait again for such a long time before we have a new novel of yours... Anything you can tell us about your new literary projects?


message 31: by Clio (new)

Clio Mcconnell Q I know that you've written quite a few essays about books and writers who have inspired you, as a kid and throughout your career; reading Maps & Legends definitely added a few things to my to-read list! I wonder if there are any particular contemporary writers whom you particularly admire and/or recommend.


message 32: by tom (new)

tom You said you only listen to a few different music groups when you are writing a book, but Telegraph Avenue is all about music. Woulodn't you need to listen to tons of music to write the book?


Peter Dear Michael! Thanks for doing this. Good to "see" you! Of course, I've read everything you've written and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Any chance you might return to the world of comic book history in a future book?


message 34: by Simon (last edited Sep 18, 2013 08:36AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Simon Hemmings Q Who are some of your favourite science fiction authors? Do you think you may ever write a space set science fiction novel? Plus I thought it was amazing when you won the Hugo! You must have been very proud.


message 35: by Muuka (new) - added it

Muuka Muyumba Slightly off topic: will we ever see a cinematic or television version of Kavalier and Klay?


message 36: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary I am curious,and have wondered this in most of your books..... I think it's great that you always include a gay character in your stories. I was wondering if you have done that because it's part of our society,and more acceptable? Or if you hope it's more acceptable now since it's included in your plot? Or if you have a particular reason in doing that? Thanks!


message 37: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Q I read A Model World and Other Stories, and I've read several of your novels. It really seems like you thrive in the novel setting, but what's your relationship with short fiction? Do you enjoy writing short stories? Do they help you with your long fiction? And were you ever tempted to transform the connected stories in A Lost World into a novel? If so, what happened?


message 38: by Kam (new)

Kam I loved Kavalier and Clay. How does Telegraph Road compare with that book?


Katie When I was watching the credits for "Moonrise Kingdom" I noticed that Wes Anderson included you in the "Thanks!" list and I am just wondering if you had any direct involvement with the movie. And do you plan on writing anymore screenplays after your experience with "John Carter"?


Brian Were you living in Berkeley-Oakland during the writing of Telegraph Avenue (how important is the sense of place in your novels)?


Katie q When I was watching the credits for "Moonrise Kingdom" I noticed that Wes Anderson included you in the "Thanks!" list and I am just wondering if you had any direct involvement with the movie. And do you plan on writing anymore screenplays after your experience with "John Carter"


message 42: by Jerriann (new)

Jerriann Hello, Michael, my question is this, have you ever considered your winning early recognition came before you were ready for it, or came at the most opportune time, and how has that affected your enthusiasm on your later works; I mean, have you felt like you were trying to top that first success and found this a daunting challenge to achieve?


message 43: by Brent (new) - added it

Brent q Good afternoon Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is tied with Les Mis as my favourite novel of all time. I am a sucker for nostalgia and a huge comic buff, so it both themes fit like a wonderful mold around me as I read it. Do you see any comic writing in your future, on an already existing title or something creator owned? Thanks for being a brilliant inspiration!


Katie I was also pleasantly surprised when I read your intro to D'Aulaires Book of Norse Myths - how did that opportunity even come about? It's such a niche, but wonderful book.


message 45: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Martin Michael Chabon, I find that drawing and painting have refined and enriched my general visual experience. Do you find, as a writer, something similar happens to your sense of judgment or empathy...? During your writing process, do you think much about the interpretations or reactions of your audience? Would you say that your stories, your characters belong to you? Do you believe in free will? What is the most important work of fiction? If you would, how would you define art? Are you keeping up with comics these days? If so, which ones? Thanks for all the loving research you embed into your work. I think you'd like Joe Cool's Blues by Wynton & Ellis Marsalis, if you haven't already heard. PS It just occurred to me; your role as a character/reader. Do you escape into reading from writing or vice versa? What is your realest memory?


message 46: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Do your characters evolve organically for you as you write? Or do you have a strong sense of they are as you begin your first draft?


message 47: by Jacob (new)

Jacob The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is probably the most amazing book I've ever read. I absolutely loved the tenderness with which you treat your characters.


message 48: by Sycobabel (new)

Sycobabel Q Are you ever haunted by your characters? I mean do they stick around, or pop back from time to time even after their story has been told. I wasn't thinking in terms of sequels, just simply, that they have been such a huge part of your life. Also while the time and settings are different, do you ever characters intermingling? That could make for an interesting conversation around the punch bowl.


message 49: by Liz (new)

Liz q Please tell us about parrots and why you love to write about them.


message 50: by Jr (new)

Jr Bacdayan Hi, Michael! Which book would you consider your most meaningful work? Why?


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