Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon made the last stop on his junket tour last Friday at Books and Books in Coral Gables. The readings promoted his new collection of essays, entitled Manhood for Amateurs. Afterward, Chabon sat down with The Miami Hurricane to discuss living in hotels, new movies and the concept of a legacy.
The Miami Hurricane: As a writer, how do you feel about having to sell your work on these nationwide press tours?
Michael Chabon: I’ve been doing this for 21 years now. I’ve probably been on 12 or 14 book tours. I like the reading. I like staying in hotels.
TMH: Why did you reject People’s inclusion of you in their “50 Most Beautiful People” edition, as opposed to the Pulitzer?
MC: That’s not even an award. I declined the honor. (On literary awards) There aren’t that many of them and they’re not that glitzy.
TMH: Which of your works are you the most proud of?
MC: I might be proud of different works for different reasons. I had a really strict deadline for Gentlemen of the Road. As for The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, it was hard to write, big and long.
TMH: Talk about the relationship you have with author (and co-writer of the Where the Wild Things Are movie) Dave Eggers.
MC: We’ve been friends for eight years. He’s my hero; he makes things happen. Dave actually acts on his ideas. He is the straw that stirs the drink.
TMH: What’s next for you?
MC: I’m rewriting the new Captain Nemo movie. (He also has a new novel in the works.) It’s called Telegraph Avenue. It’s set in contemporary Berkeley and Oakland. Sort of a family story, I guess.
TMH: Do you resent the perception of you as a Jewish writer?
MC: On the contrary, I embrace it wholeheartedly as long as it is not the only label.
TMH: Who are some new writing faces that college kids would like and which writers (dead or alive) would you like to have ?
MC: Kelly Link, Alexander Hemon
TMH: Dinner guest list?
MC: Groucho Marx, Nikola Tesla, Errol Flynn, Franz Liszt, Madame de Pompadour.
TMH: What do you want your legacy to be?
MC: I have no idea. I do not think about that question. I’m focused on the here and now, raising my kids, try to do a little to make the world a better place. You can’t enjoy a legacy.