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Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman are working with HBO

March 9, 2011 | 10:53 am


Writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, who are married and have four children, are at work on their first authorial collaboration: a project for HBO. It's in the very early stages of development, Variety reports, and will be called, tentatively, "Hobgoblin."

Variety describes it as "an offbeat drama project ... that revolves around a motley group of conmen and magicians who use their skills at deception to battle Hitler and his forces during WW II." Which sounds sort of like "Inglorious Basterds" with less gore and more magic. And combining magic and World War II is something that Chabon has done before, notably in parts of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2001.

Although primarily known as novelists, Chabon and Waldman have also both written nonfiction -- his Details columns on being a son and father were collected in the anthology "Manhood for Amateurs," and her 2005 essay "Motherlove," which led to a tiger-mother-style controversy, served as the anchor for Waldman's collection "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace."

Both Chabon and Waldman have had work adapted for the big screen -- Waldman's "The Other Woman," Chabon's "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and "Wonder Boys." Now they're tackling a different kind of project, writing for the screen themselves.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: Michael Chabon in 2007. Credit: Randi Lynn Beach / For The Times. Ayelet Waldman in 2009. Credit: Robert Durell / For The Times. Both are seated on the porch of their Northern California home.