Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon will speak at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. The talk, which will be followed by a book signing, is free and open to the public.
Chabon believes that three things are required for success as a novelist: talent, luck and discipline. "Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling. You just have to hope and trust in the other two." This has paid off for him.
Chabon's first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, became a New York Times bestseller. His second novel, Wonder Boys, also became a bestseller and was made into a critically acclaimed film featuring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. His third book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay won the Pulitzer Prize. He seems to have the three things he believes are required for success as a novelist.
His most recent novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, is thriller set in an imaginary world, inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan during World War II to create a Jewish homeland in Alaska, rather than the Middle East.
In addition to novels, Chabon has also written collections of short stories, a novella, young adult novels, articles and essays, a number of screenplays and teleplays (as well as sharing story credit for Spiderman 2), and he edited The Best American Short Stories 2005. He also writes a regular column for the magazine Details.
Chabon has lectured on topics including the art and craft of writing, the tradition of Jewish fiction and Vladimir Nabokov, to name a few. He has spoken all over the United States, Russia, Finland, France and Canada, again to name a few. He has spoken to the creative teams at Pixar Animation Studios about fantasy and childhood, to the employees of Industrial Light and Magic about the art of storytelling, and to many different literary, Jewish and corporate organizations about a wide variety of topics.
According to the Chicago Tribune, "Chabon is a flat-out wonderful writer-evocative and inventive, pointed and poignant."