Wonder Boy

I'm having a difficult time finding anything interesting in Pittsburgh these days -- hockey arenas, Gino and Sid, casinos, tax increases, falling floors, ice on the rivers, Grant Avenue soap operas -- it's mostly business as usual and cold as hell. Did I mention that it's Black History Month?

But Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman were in town on Monday night as part of the Drue Heinz Lectures. While I missed the "lecture", the event created some of the best buzz I've heard in a while. Welcome back to Pittsburgh.

Mysteries of Pittsburgh helped to keep me in Pittsburgh years ago when I was offered the chance to move back to San Francisco. The Wonder Boys is a fabulous book, and Curtis Hanson turned it into my favorite Pittsburgh film. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay repays, many times over, the investment that Chabon solicits from the reader. And now I've gotten hooked on his serialized novella, Gentlemen of the Road, running in the Sunday New York Times.

Ah yes, Michael and Ayelet live in Berkeley, and their "lecture" had little to do with Pittsburgh aside from the fact that they happened to perform here. But with the books and the history, the Pittsburgh connection is indelible. Jim Russell at Burgh Diaspora talks about the worldwide distribution of former Pittsburghers whose energy remains emotionally linked to western Pennsylvania. Michael Chabon is a wonderful example of what Jim means: someone with strong Pittsburgh ties, who continues to energize Pittsburgh even from the West Coast.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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