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Nov­elist and political com­men­tator Andrew Klavan is this semester’s Pulliam Fellow, and he will be speaking pub­li­cally at Hillsdale on April 9. Wiki­media Commons

Andrew Klavan is a crime and adventure nov­elist and screen­writer. He has pub­lished more than 30 books, including “Empire of Lies” and the “Home­lander” series. His film credits include the screenplay for the 2018 anti-abortion movie, “Gosnell.” Klavan cur­rently hosts the “Andrew Klavan Show” on the Daily Wire. Klavan is the Dow Jour­nalism Program’s Spring 2019 Pulliam Fellow, and he will give a talk on April 9 at Hillsdale.

 

Who are your lit­erary influ­ences?

I grew up reading the American “tough guy” writers, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hem­ingway. Chandler had an immense effect on me, and I always believed it was because Chandler carried an old-fash­ioned, chivalric idea into a modern, corrupt world. That appealed to me very deeply as a boy in the ’60s when I saw all the world falling apart around me. I had to ask myself what it means to be a man and what it means to be an American and what it means to be a good guy. I studied those books almost like reli­gious texts. And — it sounds silly to say it — I am insanely crazy about Shake­speare. Shake­speare obvi­ously says some of the wisest, most beau­tiful things that have ever been written, but he said them in the middle of sword fights, love scenes, battle scenes. He says it in the midst of adventure. I’m an adven­turer writer, essen­tially. I just loved that he could fill stories of such adventure and action with such depth.

 

There’s a lack of that bravado James Bond-ish char­acter in modern lit­er­ature. Many of your main char­acters are this sort of char­acter. Were you making a con­scious decision to put a char­acter like that back into society?

To some degree, yes. I think fem­inism is a ter­rible phi­losophy. I think that manhood is a thing that the world needs. When you look around, the reason that we have this won­derful place where people can do the things they want is because of the world that man built and invented. They invented it through student acts of manhood in the face of soci­eties that some­times rejected them. My guys walk alone a little bit, they say things they shouldn’t say, do things they shouldn’t do, some­times they’re wrong, but they’re men. I think that is some­thing that I mean to pre­serve.

 

Do you have any advice for Hillsdale stu­dents?

I’m not sure you can under­stand it until you learn it, but maybe you’ll under­stand it by having someone tell it to you: Every choice comes at a price. I spoke up in Hol­lywood and it cost me a lot of money. That was the price of speaking with integrity. I know people who don’t speak up. They hide and they keep their mouth shut. I look in their eyes and that has a price. I know. Choose the price and choose the thing you’re selling at that price. A million dollars is a lot for screenplay, but it’s not that much for your soul. Know what you’re selling and know what the price of it should be.