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Chabon to speak as part of Berman Center’s 25th anniversary celebration



Michael Chabon

Lehigh’s Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies is celebrating its 25th anniversary through a series of educational and cultural events.

As part of the celebration, the Center will host Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon on Sunday, March 22 at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall at 7:45 p.m. Chabon’s talk is free and open to the public.

Chabon, one of the most important secular Jewish writers in America, will discuss the impact of his Jewish identity on his writing. He is known for his penetrating social and political commentaries, his literary criticism, and his essays that explore the range and influences of popular culture.

Chabon’s first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, became a New York Times bestseller. His second novel, Wonder Boys, was made into a critically-acclaimed film featuring actors Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which delves into the fears and yearnings behind the Jewish artists who created a host of comic book heroes that shaped the imaginations of entire generations, was recipient of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, among other national literary awards.

“Undoubtedly, Chabon is one of the outstanding writers in the United States and is frequently compared to Philip Roth,” says Laurence Silberstein, director of the Berman Center. “A major contemporary Jewish author, his extraordinary imaginings of events in Jewish history and his complex engagement with questions of Jewish life and culture lead us to think about these issues in new and exciting ways.”

Chabon’s latest novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is a hardboiled detective novel set in an alternate world where Israel failed to be born and millions of European Jewish refugees took shelter in Alaska, creating a miniature American Yiddishland.

Chabon’s talk will be immediately followed by a book signing. For more information, please call the Berman Center at (610) 758-3352 or e-mail inber@lehigh.edu.

--Tricia Long


Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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