Monday, January 22, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Amy Tan has moved from San Francisco, the setting of her novels, to Sausalito, across the Bay. Apparently she feels “like such a traitor.” (via California Authors)

That begs the question of how many other “San Francisco” writers live elsewhere. Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida are often called San Francisco writers, although they live in Marin County. So does Isabel Allende. A number of the people affiliated with the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto have their homes out of town, including Jason Roberts, whose book was just nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Marin, too. His colleague, Tom Barbash, author of The Last Good Hope, also lives in Marin.

Is there a pattern emerging here? Are San Francisco writers tired of the small spaces and high costs of the city fleeing to Marin where there is more land? (They certainly won’t find any bargains there.)

Is there a certain cache associated with being a writer from a big city? Does a writer sound more provincial is she says she is from Mill Valley or Oakland?

Well we know Michael Chabon does not suffer self-doubt from living in Berkeley. He wrote a whole article about the place for Gourmet Magazine in 2002. I guess winning the Pulitzer Prize makes that kind of angst unnecessary.

Michael Lewis has no qualms either. He and his wife, Tabitha Soren, now a photographer but once an MTV host who interviewed Bill Clinton, also live in Berkeley. Lewis has been writing all about the birth of their third child, a son named Walker, for Salon. He was born at Alta Bates, the center of birthing in the East Bay.

1 comment:

James G. Leventhal said...

or is "The City," just not the same thing it's cracked up to be these days...and the good living's happening elsewhere?

did I ever tell you I went to college just a couple of years behind Tabitha Sorenrberger and worked at WNYU with her briefly? did you see her photo essay on Walnut Creek?