Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bay Area Literary Tidbits Francisco writer T.J. Stiles won the National Book Award  in Nonfiction Wednesday night for his biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Siles, who lives in the Presidio with his wife and son, wrote The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt after completing a book about Jesse James. He talks about the project here.Film is courtesy of Galleycat.

The adaption of Michael LewisThe Blind Side, about Michael Oher, a homeless African American youth who is adopted by the Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a white, Christian Southern family and who achieves great success on the football field, will be released Friday, Nov. 20. The advance buzz on the movie is good (Famed Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr apparently cried at a screening) but sources tell me that current relations among Oher and the Tuohys are extremely strained. Oher, who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens, will not be doing any press for the film. The movie has a feel-good ending, but the truth is not as pretty

Disney has shelved a film adaptation of Julies Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Michael Chabon of Berkeley has done the most recent rewrite of the script.

Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, will be speaking at Berkeley Rep on Dec. 7 in a benefit for Park Day School. This will be the first time the pair has appeared on stage together since they both published memoirs.

The interviewer will be San Francisco columnist Jon Carroll. Do you think he will have the nerve or the gall to ask Chabon what would be harder for him, to have his wife or children die? (Ala Waldman’s essay in the New York Times.) Probably not, but Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs (a fabulous book) mentions that he is somewhat laconic and Waldman pushes him to interact more forcefully in the world.  He certainly has been extremely supportive of her writing and other endeavors. So the conversation should be interesting.

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