Interviews Galore as Chabon Does the Rounds

Promoting Manhood for Amateurs has been keeping Michael Chabon busy these days. On top of a series of book readings across the country, Chabon has been giving interviews to a plethora of newspapers and magazines.

Perhaps most prominent was a New York Times article yesterday profiling Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. The piece looks at the two authors’ use of their families in their writing, specifically their two most recent non-fiction books detailing the highs and lows of parenthood.

“It’s not like writing about our family life is the daily bread of our writing,” Chabon told the Times. “We’re not Dennis the Menace or Family Circus.”

To the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (now only in online format, sadly) published a Q&A, where Chabon talked about his parenting philosophy. “Tell the truth,” he said. “That’s what we demand of [the kids], and that’s what they know they can expect from us. There are times when we can’t quite get the whole truth out, although that’s our goal, always. And we try to make an environment where there’s enough trust and support that it’s not going to be terrifying for them to tell the truth. They need to know that you’re not going to stop loving them no matter what decision they make.”

Chabon also said has recently been following the work of Julie Orringer and her husband, Ryan Harty. “I love their work,” he said. “I have tried to support them when they ask me to read their manuscripts. It’s a shared thing; I’ve asked them to read my manuscripts, too. We’re an embattled tribe.”

The Los Angeles Times asked Chabon what it is like switching to non-fiction. “There’s something liberating, refreshing, recharging about taking a memory or a particular subject or a recent occurrence in my life and just dwelling on it, in a restricted form, without having to worry about creating big set piece descriptions, or worry too much about thematic patterning, and all the kinds of things that I have to worry about when I’m writing a novel.

“But it also can be really hard, because I feel like I have to stick to the facts, and tell the truth, and not make stuff up,” on the other hand, he continued. “A lot of times, things didn’t really happen the way I would like them to happen, if I were writing a short story or a piece of fiction, and that can be kind of frustrating”

There are other interviews too, which I won’t excerpt but are worth reading. Among the interviews I’ve come across include the Kansas City-Star, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, the Globe and Mail, the Denver Post, and the Montreal Gazette.

Love to Screen at Toronto Film Fest

Don Roos’s film adaptation of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits is set to premier at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, based on Ayelet Waldman’s novel and staring Natalie Portman, will be one of 335 films from 64 countries that will screen at the festival, which runs from Sept. 10 through 19. Seventy-one other films will also have their world premier at the festival.

Here’s how the film is described in TIFF’s press release, which was issued last week:

“Emilia Woolf (Natalie Portman) is a Harvard law school graduate and a newlywed, having just married Jack, her high-powered New York lawyer boss (Scott Cohen). Her life takes an unexpected turn when the couple loses their newborn daughter. Emilia struggles through her grief to connect with her precocious new stepson William (Charlie Tahan), overcome a rift in her relationship with her father caused by his infidelity, and cope with the constant interferences of Jack’s angry, jealous ex-wife (Lisa Kudrow). An adaptation of an Ayelet Waldman novel, this tearful and terrific tale by writer-director Don Roos proves that even with a pursuit like love, nothing is impossible.”

Ayelet on Late Term Abortions

Ever since new broke last Friday about the murder of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, Ayelet Waldman has been actively speaking out on why she supports abortion.

A string of e-mails sent to her listserv of friends and fans have asked for donations to the National Abortion Federation and Medical Students for Choice or pushed readers in the Bay Area attend a vigil in Tiller’s honor. She also pubilished a piece in the Huffington Post on her own experience with abortion.

“The schlock jocks have a permanent bully pulpit from which to incite violence and hatred,” Waldman wrote. “But what about the women whose stories are never told? What about the women who confess only in secret their tragic tales of babies with genetic and developmental abnormalities, who turn to each other to heal because to say the words out loud is too dangerous?”

Waldman is now, via Salon, having a discussion with New York Times columnist Elizabeth Weil on having a late-term abortion. It’s available here.

More on the Inauguration

Looks like Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman had much more fun at the inauguration than my post Wednesday suggested. Take a look at the missive Waldman e-mailed 5,000 people yesterday, and later posted online by Gawker with a little teasing.

Where Were Chabon, Waldman on Inauguration Day?

After raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for President Obama’s campaign last year, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon hit Washington, D.C. this week to party and watch the inauguration parade.

The couple had a busy weekend. Chabon was expected on Saturday to attend a performance by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble hosted by The New Republic, The New York Times reports. Then on Monday, Chabon participated in a reading of the Constitution at the Newseum on Monday, according to The Legal Times. Later, the two were expected to attend a $500-a-person dinner that Waldman helped organize called “Art.Food.Hope.” (The dinner, which featured famous chefs, helped raise fund for the D.C. Central Kitchen.)

And Tuesday, the big day? Chabon, Waldman, and their four children watched the parade. After several hours in the cold, though, Waldman told The San Francisco Chronicle that her kids began to get white and shake, and “we were ushered from the parade site by the Secret Service.” Luckily, their son Zeke “shared a glance with the new president,” Waldman said.

(Side note: When did Waldman and Chabon break the $200,000 mark for Obama? Wow.)