Leonard Michaels

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Leonard Michaels
Leonard Michaels.jpg
Leonard Michaels
Born (1933-01-02)January 2, 1933
New York City, United States
Died May 10, 2003(2003-05-10) (aged 70)
California, United States
Occupation Essayist, screenwriter, novelist
Alma mater University of Michigan
Genre Fiction, non-fiction

Leonard Michaels (January 2, 1933 – May 10, 2003) was an American writer of short stories, novels, and essays. He was born in New York City to Jewish parents; his father was born in Poland. He went to college and earned his BA from New York University and went on to acquire an MA as well as a PhD in English Literature from the University of Michigan, before spending most of his adult life in Berkeley, California.[1]

Going Places, his first book of short stories, made his reputation as one of the most brilliant of that era's fiction writers; the stories are urbane, funny, and written in a private, hectic diction that gives them a remarkable edge. The follow-up, coming six years later, was I Would Have Saved Them If I Could, a collection considered by some[who?] as strong as the first.[1]

The Men's Club, Michaels' first novel, is a story-like, relatively short comedic work that simultaneously attacks and celebrates the absurdities of men as they gather in a kind of urban support group. In 1986, the novel was made into a film, directed by Peter Medak, with the screenplay by Michaels, and starring Roy Scheider, Harvey Keitel, Stockard Channing, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Frank Langella.

Sylvia is a fictionalized memoir of Michael's first wife, Sylvia Bloch, who committed suicide.

Michaels was a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is interred at Oakmont Memorial Park, in Lafayette, California.

Michaels had a daughter with his third wife, the poet Brenda Hillman.[2] His son Jesse Michaels (from his second marriage) was the vocalist and primary lyricist in the seminal underground punk rock band Operation Ivy.

Selected publications[edit]

Short Story Collections


  1. ^ a b "Leonard Michaels". Senate.universityofcalifornia.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  2. ^ "Leonard Michaels Biography". eNotes.com. January 2, 1933. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 

External links[edit]