Dear Mr Chabon,
My name is Lidia, I spend my spare time writing as “a guide” about authors and books for a web site.
We met in Mantova – Italy – after your interview with Beppe Severgnini.
You had said that, if I was interested in writing you, you would answer me personally: it would be an honor for me to ask you just few questions.
In Italy, the interest in Michael Chabon is growing wider and wider (I did not find a copy of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh) and, thanks to your answers, readers are given a new glimpse of you, not only as a writer.
- Firstly, there are no words to express all my sorrow for the overwhelming tragedy that struck your country.
In your last novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay”, among other topics, you wrote about World War II.
Now a new, different and long war has been declared and it seems that it is not “going to be over by Christmas”. How do you feel and what do you think about it?
Michael Chabon - I can’t give an intelligent answer to this question yet. I am very slow to respond or to know my feelings, and the situation seems to change every day.
I don’t have enough perspective. At first I was stunned, horrified… now a grimmer watchful anxiety has set in.
– There is a section in your web site - “ Catalogue raissonné - It changed my life” – about books that have a particular place not only in your bookcase.
Titles like Love in the Time of Cholera or The Age of Innocence have a colossal readership all over the world.
But do you expect ‘your books’ to change readers lives?
What kind of mark would you like to make in America and in the world?
MC - I certainly don’t _expect_ my books to change anyone’s life. But it’s nice to think that one of them might rearrange a reader’s brain, even for a little while, the way my favorite books have rearranged mine.
- You have won the Pulitzer Prize, and I think you are benefiting from this success, but is it a great weight to bear? Do you feel any expectation from your readers or your editor?
Has your writing changed? And your life?
MC - No, the Prize is not a burden at all–not yet anyway. So far it feels a lot more like a pair of wings, and an iron shield, too. I’m writing a novel for children now - 9-12 year olds.
I don’t think they are really going to hold my Pulitzer against me or expect more from me because of it.
I get a lot more invitations than I used to… some of which I accept.
- The last great technological achievements take place in the publishing business with the e-book. I’m thinking about King’s experiments, for example, or those authors who have written something to publish only in e-book – with different fortune
What do you think about the future of the e-book?
MC - I love paper, and I always will. A book is an object of desire.