Thursday, May 30, 2013

Michael Chabon - Profiled

San Francisco Magazine talks to the author.

From the piece...

Chabon’s writing life is deeply tied to California. He received his MFA from UC Irvine and lived for a spell in Los Angeles, but his California journey began and has continued in the Bay Area. His mother, the “original settler,” moved to Oakland when he was still in college in Pittsburgh. On his first visit out here—at age 20—his mother zipped him from the airport to a Mexican restaurant in Fruitvale. He felt instantly at home. “Pittsburgh didn’t even have Taco Bell,” he says. He loved the light, the people, the diversity. “Monocultures—Sweden, China—make me nervous,” he says. “But I guess because I’ve always felt like an outsider, I feel really at home around other outsiders.”

This instant feeling of home, however, applies only to the East Bay. “I remember going up the Montgomery Street escalator into San Francisco that first trip. I was so excited. City Lights. Dashiell Hammett. But I just got this feeling of insignificance—you’re not welcome here. We don’t need you.”

He struggled against this feeling for the entire trip, and years later he did briefly live in San Francisco just before he and Waldman married. But he never warmed to the city. Or maybe it never warmed to him.

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