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Comic Riffs
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Posted at 08:43 PM ET, 10/13/2012

MICHAEL CHABON’s NEW GROOVE: How Pulitzer-winning ‘prose stylist’ paved path to ‘Telegraph Avenue’

IN THE ‘90s, as Maryland transplant Michael Chabon surveyed his life in the Bay Area, an idea began to take shape. Living near a cultural fault line, with his mind attuned both to social geology and vintage vinyl, he hit upon a story that moved the needle.


Michael Chabon. (photo / Ulf Andersen - .)
Chabon would write a two-hour pilot episode about life along Telegraph Avenue, in the “borderlands” between Berkeley and Oakland, that delved into race and class, consumerism and gentrification. And, pulsing through it all, parenthood set against the sometime impermanence of what we make.

That script would be scuttled, but it eventually helped birth the Washington native’s new novel, “Telegraph Avenue.”

Many comics fans know Chabon best for his Pulitzer-winning novel, ”The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” but he infuses his new work with a similar passion for cultural texture, histtorical richness and, of course, all those soaring sentences.

Chabon will come to Washington on Sunday to talk about his work — an appearance that kicks off the 15-event Jewish Literary Festival hosted by the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

To read my new piece on Chabon and “Telegraph Avenue,” and to learn more about the festival, you can CLICK HERE.


"Telegraph Avenue" by Michael Chabon — a title that invokes a device that rings even more anachronistic than vintage vinyl. (Harper)

By  |  08:43 PM ET, 10/13/2012

Tags:  michael chabon, telegraph avenue

 
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