The Collected Stories Leonard Michaels, who died in 2003 at age 70, inhabited a middle zone between writers' writer and cult hero. He wrote first sentences that hooked… The Collected Stories Leonard Michaels, who died in 2003 at age 70, inhabited a middle zone between writers' writer and cult hero. He wrote first sentences that hooked… 2007-05-29 Fiction Short Stories Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Book Review

The Collected Stories (2007)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: May 29, 2007; Writer: Leonard Michaels; Genres: Fiction, Short Stories; Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Leonard Michaels, who died in 2003 at age 70, inhabited a middle zone between writers' writer and cult hero. He wrote first sentences that hooked you unobtrusively ("When my Uncle Moe dropped dead of a heart attack I became expert in the subway system"). He could sound absurdist like Donald Barthelme one day, and, the next, like a Beat poet, as in the lyrical litany "In the Fifties": "I had an automobile accident. I did the mambo.... I used to think that someday I would write a fictional version of my stupid life in the fifties." Whether he was writing a classic story or a memoirlike vignette, his style, as evidenced in The Collected Stories, seemed free and easy.

Originally posted May 18, 2007 Published in issue #938 Jun 08, 2007 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners