Day: May 1st, 2007

Yiddish Policemen and Suburban Girl

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Books, Film

I’d scheduled a rather ambitious evening for myself weeks before there were any plans of globe-trotting, and by late this afternoon, I was running on Coke Zero. (Must be the Ace-K that makes it taste so good.)

After work, it was up to the 92nd Street Y, where tonight’s featured reader was another of my favorite authors, Michael Chabon. Chabon, who pronounces his name “Shea as in Stadium, Bon as in Jovi,” is best known as the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay — one of the ten best books of the past ten years set in New York City. The comic book set knows him better for his award-winning spin-off graphic novel series and as the screenwriter behind Spider-Man 2; film buffs, as the author of the stories on which 2000’s Wonder Boys and the upcoming The Mysteries of Pittsburgh are based.

All groups were represented in the capacity audience tonight – thanks in part to the rather extensive media promotion of the event, based on Chabon’s ongoing weekly serial in The New York Times and the controversy surrounding his new book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, dropping on bookstores that day.

Chabon easily defused any lingering tensions by opening the evening: “Is there anyone here tonight who’s already mad at me?” Nervous twitters and surreptitious head-swiveling eased into laughter when after a beat, he continued: “Then I’ll see what I can do.”

The author went on to talk about the early inspiration for his latest work and the role his faith plays in his writing. And after reading a short excerpt of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, he submitted to an interview with Salon co-founder Laura Miller, followed by “fawning praise and obvious questions” from the audience… during which there were absolutely no outbreaks of violence.

92nd Street Y

I wish I could have stayed on for the entire evening — or stuck around to get my Kavalier & Clay  signed — but I was off into the suddenly wet night to meet M downtown for the Tribeca Film Festival‘s late-night screening of Suburban Girl. The film, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin as the romantic leads (ew ), is based on two stories from Melissa Bank‘s 1999 chick-lit bestseller, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Marc Klein, best known for his screenplay to 2001’s Serendipity, wrote and directed what was overall a not-so-entertaining, rather confusing mess of a film. Based on the enormous popularity Bank’s debut book, I can only assume that the source material was ill-served.

Sadly, the heartiest audience laughs seemed to have been at the expense of absent Baldwin, whose Mr. Big-esque character was asked to deliver some unfortunately-timed lines about a “vindictive ex-wife” and — worse, still — to leave a phone message for his estranged daughter. (I have to admit, I snickered there, too.)

On the way home, the 24-hour Starbucks in my neighborhood. 1 in the morning on a Wednesday and not a free table in sight.

Starbucks 1AM

There are no comments just yet