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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Chabon’

Michael Chabon Publishes Excerpt from ‘Wrecked’ Novel

In an upcoming edition of McSweeney’s, novelist Michael Chabon will publish the first four chapters of Fountain Citya “wrecked” novel Chabon abandoned in 1992. The booklet-sized paperback is 93 pages long, including author annotations and a poster jacket of a Leon Krier painting.

In the  preface to the paperback (pictured),  Chabon described the 1,500-page manuscript about “a poetically sad young man who apprenticed himself to a visionary, postmodern architect.”   McSweeney’s 36 will be released on December 7th–a 275-cubic-inch box containing writings from debut novelist Adam Levin, actor Jesse Eisenberg, and author Colm Toibin.

We wish more writers would give us a glimpse of abandoned manuscripts. Chabon offered aspiring writers some advice about advances  (which he admitted he didn’t follow). Here’s an excerpt: “Don’t take advances; sell your work only when it is complete. A monetary obligation to one’s publisher places all kinds of undue pressure, both subtle and overt, on the writer, chief among them the aforementioned pressure to persist on a f***ed project well beyond the point of reason.”

Stephen King Headlines Vampire Panel at New Yorker Festival

This year’s New Yorker Festival took place last weekend.  Twitter fans at the festival used the hashtag, #tnyfestival.

On Saturday, Joan Acocella (author of the vampire essay, “In the Blood”) moderated the Vampires Revival panel. On board to speak were philosophy professor Noel Carroll, horror novelist Stephen King, vampire film director Matt Reeves, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. A video preview of the panel discussion is embedded above.

Several dozen King fans waited outside the venue only to be disappointed by King’s unwillingness to sign books. As he walked away with his arms in the air, he told the crowd: “I can’t sign guys, I got to get something to eat.” Alas, just because he’s a “king” doesn’t mean he isn’t human.

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Michael McKenzie Promoted to Senior Publicity Director at Ecco

eccologo.pngThis week HarperCollins promoted Michael McKenzie to senior publicity director at Ecco.

Harper director of publicity Tina Andreadis announced the promotion in a staff memo. The Ecco imprint publishes a varied list of big-time authors, including: Russell Banks, Anthony Bourdain, and Charles Bukowski.

Here’s an excerpt: “Over the past three years at Ecco, Michael has delivered stellar campaigns–from the incredibly successful ‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,’ every Joyce Carol Oates book (and there are many!), to most recently, the amazing coverage for Patti Smith‘s book, ‘Just Kids.’ In addition to the Ecco list, Michael delivers wonderful campaigns for the Harper imprint, most notably all of Michael Chabon‘s works. Michael is dedicated to his authors and consistently delivers fabulous results.”

Disney Shelves Michael Chabon’s Adaptation of Jules Verne Novel

DSC_0357.jpgDisney has stopped production on a projected $150-million adaptation of a classic Jules Verne novel, a script co-written by novelist Michael Chabon (pictured, via).

According to the LA Times, Walt Disney Studios head Rich Ross axed the project that began under his predecessor; an adaptation entitled: “Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The film studio had already spent a reported $10 million assembling the crew for the movie. Towards the end of the article, an anonymous source speculated that production could eventually resume.

Here’s more from the article: “Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,’ had just written a draft of the Burbank studio’s forthcoming production ‘John Carter of Mars,’ an adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel and the first live-action film to be directed by Pixar Animation Studios director Andrew Stanton.” (Via.)

Michael Chabon in White House Slam

1628.jpgOne hundred readers from around the country were invited to attend the first White House Poetry Slam, a cultural event that includes poet Mayda Del Valle, novelist Michael Chabon (pictured), playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a speech by President Barack Obama.

Scheduled for this evening, the event will also feature actor James Earl Jones and two jazz musicians. According to KTAR.com, the First Family is fulfilling a promise to support the arts during Obama’s tenure.

The article quotes Arizona lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema about her excitement for the event: “[Sinema] quotes the White House contact as saying, ‘We’re looking for people who are hip, young and cool. And, I said, ‘uh, huh, how did I get picked?’ I didn’t sound very hip and cool on the phone. I sounded like a 12-year-old girl. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’” (Photo via; link via Isak)

Battle of the Trailer Stars!

It’s Friday in the summer, and that means another end-of-week book trailer poll! Here are the day’s contenders:

Tish Cohen, author of TOWN HOUSE, chats with CONTINUITY GIRL author Leah McLaren:

A jazzy trailer for Michael Chabon‘s THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION courtesy his UK publisher, 4th Estate:

And even though this is completely unauthorized, I couldn’t resist this mashup HARRY POTTER with 300:

FirstBook Launches New Campaign to Kickstart Reading

First Book, an award-winning nonprofit that gives children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books, has launched a new campaign, What Book Got You Hooked? to celebrate the distribution of First Book’ s 50 millionth book. Readers of all ages are asked to share the book that got them hooked on reading, then vote for the next state to receive 50,000 brand new books for children in need. The results will be announced in early August. Ron wrote about the campaign for PW’s BEA Show Daily late last month and got Michael Chabon, Leslie Schnur and Sarah Crichton to reveal the books that got them to read – and stay reading.

The Comeback of Collectible Editions

The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Schechner takes recent deluxe editions of Michael Chabon‘s THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION and Chuck Palahniuk‘s RANT as a sign such collectible volumes are returning to the forefront (which was already the subject of a similar piece last month by C. Max Magee.) Within the struggling book industry, these efforts are intended to deepen fan bases for popular authors while ginning up extra profit.

Besides the chance that limited-edition books will appreciate in value, the new spate of expensive books dovetails with the expansion of goods targeted at wealthy consumers. “They’re an expensive luxury item,” says Jonathan Burnham, publisher at HarperCollins, which says it has sold out of its 1,000 copies of Chabon’s $150 limited-edition “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” “The whole DVD-retailing world has shown that people will pay a premium.”

Kyle Smith Changes His Tune on Chabon?

Flipping through People Magazine, as I do pretty much every Friday, I came across a short review of Michael Chabon‘s officially bestselling novel THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION that was almost uniformly positive. Nothing new, that, even how it pointed out the book explored “intriguing questions about Jewishness.” But then I saw the byline: Kyle Smith. Yes, that Kyle Smith, the one who was purportedly quoted by Page Six that the book depicts “some of his Jewish characters as willing to do anything, including massacring other Jews, in the cause of Zionism.” It might make you think that Page Six, oh, performed the gossip equivalent of alchemy in spinning a controversy out of a good review?

Or perhaps not. When asked about both the Page Six quotes and his review for People, Smith explained it thusly by email this morning: “I simply pointed out the book’s potential for causing controversy; I was thinking particularly that it might annoy ultra-Orthodox Jews, whom Chabon satirizes somewhat mercilessly.” Which is different from his reaction about THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION: “I enjoyed the book. I have enjoyed many controversial books.”

Michiko Likes Fiction Again!

A few months ago I did an impromptu search through the New York Times archives to find empirical evidence that lead book critic Michiko Kakutani has, indeed, developed a distaste for fiction. And for all of 2006, the only two novels she liked were Dana Spiotta‘s EAT THE DOCUMENT and Dave Eggers‘ WHAT IS THE WHAT. But 2007 must be a better year already because Michiko’s in a much better reviewing mood of late: this month alone, she’s alloted rave reviews (you know it’s a rave when “stunning” and “dazzling” are overused) to Richard Flanagan’s THE UNKNOWN TERRORIST and Michael Chabon‘s THE YIDDISH POLICEMAN’S UNION. Earlier, she had good things to say about Lionel Shriver‘s THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD (about “an idiosyncratic yet recognizable heroine about whom it’s impossible not to care”) Lauren Fox‘s STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND (“a delightful new voice in American fiction”) and Martin Amis‘s THE HOUSE OF MEETINGS (“arguably his most powerful book yet”). Of course, the crank-meter was still way high for reviews of books by Yasmina Reza, Howard Norman and Jane Smiley, but even in those pieces the vitriol seemed somewhat muted.

What’s going on? Could Michiko be changing her tune about fiction? Is her editor giving her better books to read? Because this happy critic mood is a little unnerving, frankly…

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