Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

A Single Duality 

Wednesday, Oct 12 2011
At first glance, Michael Ondaatje and Michael Chabon may seem like an odd pair to share a stage. Aside from each having a new book to plug and the same first name, the two have little in common, superficially. Ondaatje is the author of sober-minded historical fiction, most memorably The English Patient, which inspired the lavish blockbuster of the same name. On the other side is Chabon, who raises long-maligned genre and pulp forms to the level of literature, as in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, his love letter to Jewish tradition and the silver age of comic books, as well as the alternative-history neo-noir The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. But the two share some fundamental traits, including a devotion to craft, an archivist’s eye for historical minutiae, and an eagerness to experiment with form. In a rare instance of symmetry, Ondaatje’s latest, The Cat’s Table, is a rip-roaring tale of a boy’s adventure from Ceylon to England during the 1950s, while Chabon is promoting his first children’s book, the adjective-packed The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. The duo discuss their work, common ground, and the craft of writing in this conversation benefitting 826 Valencia’s scholarship program.
Mon., Oct. 17, 8 p.m., 2011

About The Author

Paul M. Davis

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"