Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Auth-or-gasm #1


Can I get a show of hands?  How many of you read books?  Like, love reading, can't put them down, been reading since the first grade?  Closeted and not so closeted bibliophiles,  Hardcore ROD - Read Or Die (an awesome anime)?

If you are like me, you read almost everything.  I know we all have our favorite authors, and I would like to showcase this in my first ever Authorgasm.  First off, you gotta know I do not like chick lit, romance novels, self-help books, or memoirs.  I prefer science fiction, fantasy, historical novels, graphic novels, murder mysteries and pure unadulterated fiction.

For my first Authorgasm post, I want to introduce to you Michael Chabon, author of Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Incidentally he also looks like he could be Jon Stewart's younger brother, (hot).

I've been trying to read more to develop my writing style and have identified some authors that I absolutely love.  They have a way of building worlds that feel unique and well-planned, use language to perfectly describe deep, confusing, tumultuous emotions, and breathe life into flawed yet humanistic characters.

Chabon does all of this to the tenth degree in The Yiddish Policeman's Union.  I'm astounded by his ability to create an alternate universe that sets Sitka, Alaska as a temporary refuge for the Jews fleeing WWII Europe, because modern-day Israel was never formed and his ability to focus on a murder mystery that takes place there.  

The longing, heartache and struggles of the central characters in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay felt so real to me, I could imagine them as my own memories, my own experiences.

Chabon's protagonists are always so appealing to me because they age, their best days are behind them, they are haunted by their mistakes and still look for redemption in unlikely places.  I can identify with these characters.  I had to turn away from Young Adult novels like The Hunger Games trilogy because I can no longer identify with teen heroes, and frankly they are almost always boring.  They aren't true teenagers and always come off like an adult writing themselves as a teenager and I refuse to believe my teenage years were my golden years.  Because they weren't.  Because while I wasn't popular, I didn't have to undergo as many struggles as I did as a young adult.  Wisdom comes from experience.  Character comes from hardship.  Confidence comes from making mistakes and learning from them.

I know I will never have a writing style like his, so prolific and so insightful on the shared Jewish experience, but that's okay.  I have my own ways to contribute.

However, if you have never read his work, go do it.  Right now!  You owe it to yourself and to your humanity.  Do it now!  As an American, of any race, gender, or identity, Michael Chabon adds a priceless beacon to American Literature landscape and you will not be disappointed.

Love always,


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