25 May 2007

She Meets a Hero (2007 version)

My deep love and obsession for arty types isn’t reserved for R.E.M. and musicians. I also nurture crushes on writers and books. I love to curl up with a novel and read it cover to cover in a day. And, well, a man who has a way with words makes me swoon.

Last summer I saw T. Coraghessan Boyle, and I floated on a T.C. bubble for days. (He liked my necklace.)

This year: Pulitzer Prize winner (and liter-hottie) Michael Chabon.

There were many discussions among friends on how to properly pronounce Chabon’s name. He says: “Cha as in Shea Stadium, bon as in Jovi.”

I became Chabon fan after reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh in 1988. Wonder Boys, his second novel (later a great film by Curtis Hanson, starring Michael Douglas), cemented my devotion.

Still not sure who Michael Chabon is? He was on a memorable “Simpsons” this season (and he addressed his star-making turn during last night’s Q&A):

Michael Chabon was here to promote his new book, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. It was the social event of the book season — blog faves Scrivener and DJ Cayenne from Baby Got Books were spotted among the literati.

Chabon read from the new book, then opened the floor for questions. And there were decent questions this time. He was smart, he was charming, he impressed me. My only disappointment is it's too early in the a.m. to remember and share some of his interesting comments.

Yesterday was Chabon’s birthday (a cool day for birthing, huh, Randy?), and we Southeners can’t let a birthday slip by without a cake. The B&N kids were on the ball. But I didn’t get a piece of birthday cake … dammit.

We were then awarded with an audience with The Man. Chabon signed three of my books, chatted a few seconds (I gushed appropriately), and shook my hand. Here he is signing my books:

I left giddy and swooning.

Thrilled thanks go out to DJ Cayenne, who let me know about the Chabon appearance.

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At 5/25/2007 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

if you squint your eyes, he looks a bit like a literary eddie vedder...

At 5/25/2007 03:43:00 PM, Blogger kfluff said...

*swoon* Isn't he just the dreamiest thing? I can see how his wife said that she loved him more than their children...

At 5/25/2007 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

It was fun getting to hang with you at the reading.

At 5/25/2007 10:16:00 PM, Blogger Bubs said...

That is so cool. I used to work in a bookstore, years ago, but I don't remember meeting any cool authors. The coolest author I met was at a different bookstore than the one I worked at--it was William S Burroughs, and at the time he really hadn't written anything really good in years.

At 5/26/2007 08:10:00 AM, Blogger Pete said...

Hi Beth, thanks for your comment on my blog! I've known Michael for maybe 10 years, after "meeting" him online on a list when he was researching Kavalier & Clay. We struck up a conversation, and when he came to Atlanta after K&C was published for the Jewish book festival, we finally met in "real life." He's about as nice and smart a guy as you could ever meet. When I was out in Berkeley on business, he invited me over to his house for dinner. I got to meet his four kids, but Ayelet was off writing. The highlight was seeing the little cottage in the back yard where he writes and keeps his collectible books and comics. Geek heaven!

So it was great to see him again. Having dinner with him at the BBQ place (his choice!) beforehand was icing on the birthday cake.


At 5/26/2007 02:21:00 PM, Blogger lulu said...

I heart heart heart him, have for years. You're a lucky ducky to get to meet him!

At 5/27/2007 03:22:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Wow, he's as handsome as that picture that same picture that you of him all over the Internet and the flap of "Kavalier & Clay," as well as his guest stint with The Best American Short Stories.

At 5/27/2007 03:35:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

He is one of the most perfect writers ever. Sometimes when I am reading his work I have to reread a sentence over and over because it is so perfect.

At 5/27/2007 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Michael Chabon is just the best isn't he? Sounds like a great day. And hey, cake!

You met Burroughs Bubs? Wow! I would have been too frightened to approach.

At 5/29/2007 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

Lucky you. But sorry about the cake.

At 5/30/2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger landru said...

I loved the movie "Wonder Boys" that I picked up a cheap copy of the hardback ... and found it was even better than the film.

I will have to check out the new books

At 5/30/2007 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous franQ said...

Hearing all this talk of the new Chabon release makes me a little sad…

A year ago, I would have been thrilled and no doubt attended his book signing. He’s been my favorite author since I first read his debut novel THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH back in the early 90s.

But I can no longer support the work of an author who has no regard for the story and characters that put him on the literary map.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a film version of MOP coming out later this year… Written and directed by the guy who brought us DODGEBALL, in which he’s CHANGED 85% of Chabon’s original story.

And the sad part is… Michael Chabon himself APPROVED of the script! WHY would he do this? I can only think of one possible answer: $$

If you are a Chabon fan, esp MOP, I suggest you do NOT see this movie. You will be sadly disappointed at the COMPLETE removal of the gay character, Arthur Lecomte, and the fabrication of a romantic love triangle between Art Bechstein, Jane Bellwether, and a bi-sexual Cleveland Arning. And really, what is MOP without the presence of Phlox Lombardi? Alas, she’s barely in it.

At 5/30/2007 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

M: Who'd want to squint their eyes while looking at that liter-hottie?

KLUFF: I don't blame Ayelet in the least. And he helps out around the house!

SCRIVENER: Always fun to hang with the Scrivener clan; glad y'all could make it at the last minute.

BUBS: How was Burroughs? Did he chat with you? That's so f*cking cool.

At 5/30/2007 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

PETE: You are a lucky, lucky man. Did you save a rib bone for me?

LULU: I'm still swooning. I checked his schedule; he's in Alaska now, and his only other stops at the moment are in California.

WRITEPROCRASTINATOR: All those Bay Area writers are liter-hotties, aren't they?

TENACIOUS S: Isn't he amazing? I came home wanting to write. And he was so cool, too.

At 5/30/2007 10:17:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

DALE: See, I'd be afraid to approach Passion of the Dale, for fear of dorking out around greatness.

GRANT MILLER: And I'm still craving birthday cake.

LANDRU: He's well work checking out. I think you'd like The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier & Clay and Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

FRANQ: I can understand your frustration. But if you've ever seen a movie adaptation of a novel, you'll notice how little of the story can make it into 120 minutes. And, sadly, characters and events have to be changed to squeeze into those two hours. I'll hold my slam/praise until I've actually seen the movie.

At 5/31/2007 05:44:00 PM, Blogger bigshoulders said...

I must confess, I haven't read any Chabon... but Wonder Boys is freakin' hilarious... I should have tracked that down years ago and read it. Thanks for helping me make that connection. I could have gone years without reading the original... just from not knowing about it.



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