Chabon’s News

Well, wow. In a new piece in the New York Review of Books about how he came to write his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (one of my favorites), Michael Chabon – who is married to a woman and has several children – writes of his college summers:

I had just been through, in the years preceding my decampment for the West, a pair of summers that had rattled my nerves and rocked my soul and shook my sense of self — but in a good way. I had drunk a lot, and smoked a lot, and listened to a ton of great music, and talked way too much about all of those activities, and about talking about those activities. I had slept with one man whom I loved, and learned to love another man so much that it would never have occurred to me to want to sleep with him. I had seen things and gone places in and around Pittsburgh, during those summers, that had shocked the innocent, pale, freckled Fitzgerald who lived in the great blank Minnesota of my heart.

Three of Chabon’s four novels – The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – have a major character who is gay or at least has homosexual tendencies. When I first read Pittsburgh I wondered if Chabon was gay, because the novel seems very autobiographical. When I learned that he was married, I figured that either he had experimented sexually (or was bisexual) or had a close relative or friend who was gay. For some reason I thought the former possibility less likely.

It’s totally none of my business or anyone else’s, of course, and I like how he discloses the information matter-of-factly in the middle of a paragraph. But even though we’re supposed to be blasé about sexual experimentation these days, it’s still a big deal to me that Chabon once loved and slept with a guy. I guess it’s because I’m gay and I’m a big fan of his.

So it’s not a big deal… but it is to me.

4 thoughts on “Chabon’s News

  1. I’m really glad you posted this. Jeff and I are both big fans of Chabon, and have discussed the same issues you raise about how prevalently–and how honestly and well–he includes gay characters. For the longest time, before I knew he was married, I had assumed he was gay. It’s nice to see him discuss the issue himself so matter-of-factly; his wife, Ayelet Waldman, also wrote a humorous and provocative piece in Salon (“You’re supposed to marry the person you love, Mom”) in which she wished openly that their own son would, in fact, turn out to be gay. I’m very impressed with both of them (though I know she certainly has her strong detractors).

  2. Oh come on Jeff, it’s everyone’s business. Besides Chabon is so Wildly Beyond “Gay-Friendly” it’s screamingly obvious that he’s had the “urge to merge with a splurge” at MORE thatn “one time or another.” Nice to see him talk about it first.

    Now if he can only steer clear of Scott Rudin while Kavalier and Klay gets filmed.

  3. Chabon is such a wonderful wordsmith, so
    concise, that his admission felt like a
    boom in the middle of the block. Why did he do it?

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