Michael Chabon concludes his latest novel, The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by naming his Mac writing software, DevonThink Pro and Nisus Writer Express. I can't recall ever seeing another a novelist credit their writing software in the afterword to a novel.
DevonThink Pro is document organization software that automatically classifies and files documents into the appropriate group. The Pro version allows you to import e-mail from all major applications, scan in documents, and run OCR on them. It's priced at $80.
I can see where something like DevonThink would come in handy -- looks like Chabon needed to do a lot of research.
I don't know why Chabon chooses Nisus Writer Express, but I can conjecture: It's a simple word processor, priced at $45 per user, with the features that a fiction writer needs, and without other features a fiction writer doesn't need -- such as spreadsheet or presentation software.
Winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 made Chabon tops at Old Media; its a prestigious award whose other winners include William Faulkner, Harper Lee, and Ernest Hemingway.
But Chabon has always embraced new media: I remember Googling him about seven years ago, after reading his novel Wonder Boys, and finding this Web site which he apparently built himself. On it, he describes how he wrote a proposal for a never-made version of the X-Men movie. The novel for which he won a Pulitzer, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay, is a fantasy novel about two comic-book artists in mid-20th-Century.
I have an old e-mail address for Chabon, and I sent him an inquiry about discussing DevonThink Pro, Nisus Writer, and any other Mac or Internet productivity tools he'd care to talk about. Haven't heard back from him yet. Mr. Chabon, if you're out there reading this, check your in-box.