Use Your Words

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - 07:47 PM

Author Michael Chabon has a way with words. He captivated readers (and won a Pulitzer) for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. His wife, Ayelet Waldman, has a successful writing career of her own.

The couple appeared before the first family in May at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word with a few words to share about, well, words. The event featured James Earl Jones reciting lines from Othello and spitfire Poetry Jam performer Maya del Valle working her magic. Then Chabon and his wife took the stage:

Sure, 'the pen is mightier than the sword' may sound overly simplistic, but the message can be powerful enough given the right pen and the right hand. It’s worth reading more of what Chabon has to say about the importance of teaching kids to reach for their pens:

'Our children need training and encouragement and support—they need rehearsal space and tempera paint and bass violins, teachers and tap-shoes; they need constant, passionate exposure to the great artistic heritage of their people, so that even if they don’t grow up to be artists themselves, they will still have been blessed, as Americans have always been blessed, with the artist’s gift for seeing the possible in the impossible, the fellow soul on the other side of the fence. Our artists need freedom to pursue the solitary investigations into which their art inevitably leads them. America needs that untrammeled flow of creativity, of the willingness and ability to innovate, to skylark, to tinker, to daydream out loud...'

Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, and their four children

Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, and their four children

Chabon has a lot more to say about raising children in his new non-fiction work, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son. He'll be on the show this weekend to talk about it.


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