28 August 2012

Maybe it's Form Reversion Week: Michael Chabon tells Mother Jones his new novel TELEGRAPH AVENUE began life as a TV pilot for TNT:
"It never got past the script stage. I put it aside. But I think partly because I was living in the world of that story every day and because I really love the characters, I decided to go back to it. I mistakenly thought all I needed to do was novelize it. Well it turned out that was just idiotic. And I spent two years wrestling with that laziness. Because—it seems so obvious in hindsight—a TV pilot doesn't do anything that a novel does. A TV pilot is all about setting the table. It's opening doors and leaving them open, and they're the doors that you're gonna go through to tell stories in the course of the series. Oh, it was a horrible structure. You try to make a novel out of it! I spent two years trying to before finally deciding just to abandon the novel completely. My wife talked me out of it. She loved Archy; she loved Gwen especially. And she just said, 'You can't do that! I need you to write this book.' Anyway, I kept the same characters and settings but I just reconceived the whole thing." 
I believe my response to this is best delivered in a YouTube video.

(P.S. I linked to this interview on Twitter, noting that the interviewer asked Chabon how he and author wife Ayelet Waldman manage their work and kids, which I thought was a positive step because it's a question most often asked of female authors. I thought I might get backlash for pointing this out -- is it reverse sexism to say that male authors should be asked that question? I don't know, okay? -- but I only had 1 unfollower and no angry responses. It's like the medium is growing up or something!)


Wade Garrett said...

Have you read it yet? I thought that you had, but 'Don't Let Me Down' leads be to believe otherwise.

Ellen said...

Not yet -- I didn't get a review copy, so I'll pick it up when it comes out next week.