Best Local Writer - 2003
We've followed his career for quite some time -- since 1988 to be exact -- when his short story "The Halloween Party" appeared in The New Yorker. It's a heart-wrenching tale crafted in effortlessly lyrical prose, like buttah. We fell in love. That same year, his debut novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was published to critical acclaim and, unlike most works of literary fiction, commercial success. Not bad for a 23-year-old fresh out of grad school. He's had the Midas touch ever since, with only one stumble -- a novel called Fountain City, which he finally put to rest after five years of trying. Clever as Chabon is, he used this experience to create Grady Tripp, the amusingly frustrated protagonist of The Wonder Boys, the highly praised novel later adapted to film. The Berkeley-based author has written two collections of short stories and a children's book, and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Most notably, his novel The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay -- an epic tale of comic book creators in mid-20th-century New York -- was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Given Chabon's industrious body of work, it's hard to believe he has time for anything else, but he frequently gives readings, lectures, and interviews around the Bay Area. And he recently played guest editor for a special issue of Dave Eggers' magazine, later published in paperback as McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales.