Literary event to spotlight Michael Chabon

Although you may not recognize his name, you are probably familiar with Michael Chabon’s work. He published his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, at age 25. The novel, which had been his master’s thesis at the University of California, Irvine, became a New York Times bestseller. His second novel, Wonder Boys, was translated to the silver screen in a film starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire.

His greatest literary achievement, though, was when he won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 2001 for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Chabon has crossed into other literary mediums. Last year, he contributed his voice and character to a special literary episode of The Simpsons. He has also dabbled in screen writing, collaborating on the script for Spider Man 2, and he has published a comic series, The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist.

On Monday, Chabon will read from his latest best seller, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, at The Alley Theatre, launching the 2007-2008 Inprint Brown Reading Series. This summer, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union reached the No. 2 spot on The New York Times Best Seller List for hardcover fiction. The novel is a detective story set in Sitka, Alaska: It proposes an alternate reality in which many Yiddish-speaking Jewish refugees settle in Alaska after World War II. In the novel, the state of Israel is never fully realized.

In The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, as in many of his other novels, Chabon focuses on themes of Jewish identity and contemporary issues. And, despite the fact that he is an incredibly popular writer, it is because of this reason that his presence on the list of Inprint writers contributes so greatly to the Inprint Brown Reading Series this season.

For the last 27 academic years – from September to April – Inprint has brought internationally renowned contemporary authors to Houston through the Inprint Brown Reading Series. The organization is a literary arts non-profit in association with the Alley Theater, Brazos Bookstore and the UH Creative Writing Program. The Brown Reading Series ranks among the nation’s leading literary showcases. This season, it will boast authors such as Robert Hass, Alice McDermott, Dave Eggers and UH alumnus Vikram Chandra.

The Alley’s doors open at 6:45 p.m. for Chabon’s 7:30 p.m. reading, which will be followed by a book sale and signing. Tickets are $5 general admission and free for senior citizens and students with I.D. Season tickets are available through Inprint. For more information, visit

In addition, Chabon will participate in a question-and-answer session at 1 p.m. Monday in the Honors College. The session is free and open to the public.

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