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Gala Dinner 2015

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The 2015 Annual Gala: Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman

The American Library in Paris Gala Dinner took place on Tuesday 26 May 2015 at the Automobile Club de Paris. Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman entertained more than 230 guests at the 2015 Gala Dinner with a lively routine about the literary life of two accomplished writers and their four children under one roof in Berkeley, California. Writers were, as always, numerous in attendance. Theyincluded, in addition to the guests of honor, Diane Johnson, chairman of the Library’s Writers Council, Alice Kaplan, chairman of the 2014 jury for the Library Book Award, as well as novelist and memoirist Michael Mewshaw, author Pamela Druckerman, novelist Mary Fleming, photojournalist John Godfrey Morris, biographer Sophie-Caroline de Margerie, teen author Amy Plum, filmmaker Whit Stillman, fashion journalist Dana Thomas, and Shakespeare and Co. proprietor Sylvia Whitman.

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Michael Chabon is one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. His first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), was written as a PhD thesis, submitted to a publisher by his professor without his knowledge, drew a six-figure advance and catapulted him to literary celebrity when he was 25. His succeeding and each quite different novels include Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2001, Summerland, The Final Solution, Gentlemen of the Road, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, and most recently, Telegraph Avenue. Though it begs to be pronounced as a French word, Chabon is pronounced, in his words: “Shea as in Shea Stadium, Bon as in Bon Jovi” — in other words, Shay-bahn.

Ayelet Waldman, who has been married to Chabon since 1991, is the author of the novels Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,  which was adapted into a film called The Other Woman, starring Natalie Portman. Waldman is best known for her controversial New York Times nonfiction bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. A graduate of Wesleyan University and George Washington University Law School, Waldman was a public defender before turning to a writing career, first as the author of a series called “Mommy-Track Mysteries.”

Chabon’s non-fiction work includes Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son. Upon its publication in 2007, Entertainment Weekly declared Chabon and Waldman, “a famous — and famously in love — writing pair, like Nick and Nora Charles with word processors and not so much booze.”

For a photo gallery of the 2015 Gala Dinner with Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, please check the Library Flickr. For a list of books by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman in the Library collection, check out our blog. More information about both authors are also on Pinterest

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