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MICHAEL LOWENTHAL

News & Press

2016

  • September 5, 2016
  • Three of Michael's shorter works (two personal essays and a short story) have just been released as audio books on Audible.com--the very first audio editions of any of his work! You can listen to excerpts and buy the audio books here: You Don't See The Other Person Looking Back, Used-car Salesman, and Ordinary Pain. Many thanks to Yael Goldstein Love, Jennifer 8 Lee, and the other folks at Plympton, who selected these stories, and to the editors of Tin House, The Rumpus, and Witness, where these pieces were originally published.
  • August 17, 2016
  • Michael's essay about playing trumpet with the avant-garde jazz legend Sun Ra has just been published as an e-book by Ploughshares magazine. It's on sale for $1.99, and will also soon be available on Amazon and BN.com.
  • April 15, 2016
  • Michael has published a brand-new essay at The Rumpus.

2015

2013

  • September 26, 2013
  • The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute's online magazine, 614 HBI, features an interview with Michael in their "Fiction Favorites" issue.
  • May 2, 2013
  • J. Weekly, the Jewish newspaper of the Bay Area, reviews The Paternity Test alongside The Mothers, by Jennifer Gilmore — who attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School with Michael in the 1980's. Go Barons!
  • February 18, 2013
  • Talking Writing, an online magazine for writers, has posted an interview with Michael about his writing process, fame (or the lack thereof), and the question of motivation.

2012

  • December 30, 2012
  • Psychology Today has included The Paternity Test in a list of "11 Delicious New Novels," calling the book "Psychologically astute and realistic."
  • December 10, 2012
  • For any book clubs interested in discussing The Paternity Test, the publisher has posted a list of twelve Questions for Discussion.
  • November 29, 2012
  • The Paternity Test was mentioned by a few generous colleagues on the Band of Thebes list of Best LGBT Books of 2012. Michael Downing, author of Life With Sudden Death and Breakfast with Scot, calls the novel "a sly and sophisticated social comedy that zips along so entertainingly that you don't notice the sun setting, the smiles fading, and the clouds roiling overhead until the gathering storm is upon you. Michael Lowenthal drives you right into the heart of a genuine mystery -- why it is so unnerving to discover who you are."
  • November 29, 2012
  • Thanks to Amos Lassen for putting The Paternity Test on his list of Top Ten LGBT Books of 2012. Also, book blogs continue to respond to the novel. At Chick Lit Central, Leonel Escota writes, "Just when you think the story is turning one way, [Lowenthal] will throw you a curve ball that changes the direction of the story. He does this several times so that you will feel emotionally invested in these characters, and the last quarter of the book, particularly, is such a page-turner. It is one of those books where you dread turning the page because you care so much about the characters and you become petrified to see the consequences of their actions."
  • November 16, 2012
  • Rachel Kadish, author of the novels Tolstoy Lied and From a Sealed Room, has published an interview with Michael at the Ploughshares magazine blog. As its title suggests, the interview covers topics including "Orthodoxy, Humor, and the Bookstore of Your Dreams."
  • November 14, 2012
  • In the Jewish Daily Forward, Judy Bolton-Fasman has written a generous profile of Michael and The Paternity Test. She writes: "Versatility is a hallmark of Lowenthal's work, as is the 43-year-old writer's gift for language and depth of character."
  • November 13, 2012
  • The book-blogosphere has been giving The Paternity Test some strong notices. A 5-star review at WTFAreYourReading calls the book "a truly monumental work." Over at A Novel Review, a "highly recommended" write-up says that the novel "pulls you in and makes you feel as if you are part of the story." And at Chapters and Chats, another five-star review notes, "Michael Lowenthal knows how to write. The depths of his characters' personalities bring them to life as each have their own demons to overcome." More reviews to come, as the "blog tour" continues . . .
  • November 12, 2012
  • The Concord Monitor's Mindful Reader column calls The Paternity Test "a searing psychological drama."
  • November 8, 2012
  • In his Jewish Book World review, Wayne Hoffman, author of Sweet Like Sugar, calls The Paternity Test "a compelling read for anyone who wants to know what family truly means today."
  • November 4, 2012
  • In advance of Michael's appearance at next weekend's Wisconsin Book Festival, the Isthmus in Madison is running an interview with Michael. Rosemary Zurlo-Cuva's introduction begins: "It's one thing for a fiction writer to take on large and knotty subjects like pedophilia, surrogacy, and the intersection of Judaism and sexual identity. It is quite another to tell these stories with the sort of nuanced and fully fleshed-out characters that make Michael Lowenthal and his work both important and eminently readable."
  • November 4, 2012
  • In the Lambda Literary Review, David-Matthew Barnes has written a positive review of The Paternity Test. He writes: "The beauty of The Paternity Test is Lowenthal's brilliant ability to make the sexuality of his two gay characters secondary. Instead, the focus here is much more universal."
  • October 26, 2012
  • The Advocate includes The Paternity Test in this week's "Hot Sheet," its list of "Top 10 entertainment highlights on our gaydar."
  • October 24, 2012
  • Chaney Kwak conducts a wide-ranging interview with Michael at The Rumpus, discussing politics, parenting, Jewish literature, and the teaching of creative writing.
  • October 8, 2012
  • The Boston Globe review of The Paternity Test says, "Lowenthal's snappy dialogue moves the story along and reveals complexities among the characters, and Pat's first-person narration provides insight into the many often-conflicting motivations behind parenthood."
  • October 5, 2012
  • The Bay Area Reporter reviews The Paternity Test, calling it "breezy, entertaining, and, above all, relevant." The paper is also running Tim Miller's interview with Michael. Thanks to Tim for all his support!
  • October 3, 2012
  • In the travel magazine Passport, Jim Gladstone names The Paternity Test as this month's "Airplane Read of the Month," calling it "at once heartbreaking and groundbreaking." He goes on to say, "Paternity tests aren’t taken for grades, but this one nonetheless deserves an A."
  • At LitReactor.com, the wonderful film scholar Ed Sikov conducts an interview with Michael. Learn more about Ed's books here.
  • October 2, 2012
  • Long Island Pulse magazine is running a very strong review of The Paternity Test, saying, "You have to love a story that makes you a little scared to move on to the next chapter because you've come to care about the characters so much. . . If you miss The Paternity Test, in fact, you'll kick yourself."
  • October 1, 2012
  • Lambda Literary has just posted an interview with Michael, conducted by author Michael Graves, author of the wonderful short-story collection Dirty One."
  • September 30, 2012
  • The Sunday Boston Globe's "Word on the Street" column lists The Paternity Test as its Pick of the Week, as recommended by Alise Hamilton of the Andover Bookstore: "Readers won't be able to help rooting for Pat and Stu as they struggle to conceive a child through surrogacy and fight their family's — and their own — preconceived notions of what it means to be gay, all while trying to salvage their rocky relationship. Lowenthal's novel ultimately addresses the universal question: What makes a family a family?"
  • September 27, 2012
  • Performer and author Tim Miller interviews Michael in Bay Windows, New England's LGBT newspaper.
  • September 3, 2012
  • The Paternity Test has been selected for IndieBound's October 2012 Indie Next List of "Great Reads from Booksellers You Trust."
  • August 30, 2012
  • The Band of Thebes blog links The Paternity Test with NBC's controversial sitcom "The New Normal," as part of the "gay surrogate boom." The blog includes a link to the full pilot episode.

2009

  • March 3, 2009
  • Michael has been named winner of the 2009 James Duggins Mid-Career Author Award, to be presented in May at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. The award recognizes "mid-career novelists of extraordinary talent and service to the LGBT community."

2008

2007

  • December 31, 2007
  • Do Me, the just-published anthology from Tin House, which includes Michael's account of taking a Mexican cruise with a group of blind gay men, has received a great review in the Los Angeles Times, and another in today's New York Times.
  • December 17, 2007
  • Charity Girl has arrived in paperback! The official publication date for the Mariner paperback edition isn't until January 8, but the book is already available online and in most stores.
  • October 9, 2007
  • Michael was honored to read at this season's opening night for Tracy Slater's fantastic Four Stories series, along with writers Hank Phillippi Ryan and Kris Frieswick. An MP3 of Michael's reading ó from Chapter 3 of Charity Girl ó can be downloaded here, or at the past events page of the Four Stories site.
  • July 1, 2007
  • The Salt Lake Tribune and a bunch of other McClatchy newspapers carry a strong review of Charity Girl.
  • June 11, 2007
  • Bookslut, one of the best and most-visited book blogs on the Web, has posted a lovely review of Charity Girl, which says that the novel establishes Michael as "one of the country's finest authors."
  • In other news, a new short story of Michael's is included in a just-released fiction anthology. Between Men, edited by Richard Canning, is available in stores now. Other writers featured include Andrew Holleran, Edmund White, and Vestal McIntyre.
  • April 17, 2007
  • Word has come in of a March 10 radio feature about Esquire's "Napkin Fiction" project (see previous entries), broadcast on the public-radio show Weekend America. Among the featured stories is Michael's, read in his own voice.
  • March 29, 2007
  • Michael has taped an interview for WNPR's "Faith Middleton Show." Listeners in Connecticut can hear the segment live on Monday, April 2, at 3 p.m.; others can find it online.
  • March 22, 2007
  • Hometown coverage: The Roslindale Transcript's profile of Michael, according to his mother and sister, captures him better than any of the previous articles.
  • March 18, 2007
  • Sarah Weinman's excellent review of Charity Girl appears in today's Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • March 7, 2007
  • For the New England-area morning commuters among you: Michael will be appearing on The Peter Blute Show. The interview is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at 8:35 a.m. Tune your radios to 830 AM, or listen online at WCRNradio.com.
  • March 1, 2007
  • Charity Girl goes audiovisual . . .
  • Michael has appeared recently on a number of public radio programs, and the shows can be found online. Click here for his appearance on WNYC's "The Leonard Lopate Show"; or here for his appearance on PRI's "Fair Game," with Faith Salie. He also appeared on WUML's "Sunrise."
  • For those who haven't been able to come in person to one of Michael's readings, his recent San Francisco appearance at Books Inc. is now available online via Fora TV; click here to watch the video.
  • And finally, for those in a more humorous mood, check out the podcast of Michael's conversation in Los Angeles with playwright and storyteller Prince Gomolvilas; it's the February 27, 2007 episode.
  • February 11, 2007
  • Charity Girl is a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. There's also a feature about the book, by Dan Pope, in today's Hartford Courant.
  • February 8, 2007
  • A review of Charity Girl in USA Today says, "Expect to be drawn into this absorbing page-turner."
  • February 7, 2007
  • Nextbook.org, the "gateway to Jewish literature, culture, and ideas," has posted a feature on Charity Girl, including an interview.
  • February 4, 2007
  • Elizabeth Gaffney's excellent review of Charity Girl appears in today's New York Times Book Review.
  • January 29, 2007
  • A feature about Michael and Charity Girl, written by David Mehegan, appears in today's Boston Globe, along with a strong review of the novel.
  • January 27, 2007
  • Charity Girl is #10 on the Boston Globe bestseller list.
  • January 23, 2007
  • Some non-Charity Girl news . . .
  • Esquire has launched The Napkin Project. They mailed cocktail napkins to a large group of writers, asking each writer to scribble an original story that could fit on that small (and traditionally scribble-worthy) canvas: "the kind of story or list or note that might be crammed in a pocket and pulled out years later to tell something deep and forgotten."
  • At Esquire's Web site, you can read Michael Lowenthal's contribution to the project, "The War on Terror." (For a typed version of the story, scroll past the photo of the napkin.)
  • Other favorite writers who have contributed to the project include Benjamin Percy, Tony Eprile, Kent Haruf, and Andrew Sean Greer.
  • January 20, 2007
  • A wonderful article about Charity Girl and the history behind it appears in today's New York Times. It places Charity Girl "in the vein of . . . Sister Carrie."

2006

  • December 29, 2006
  • A nice notice in Boston Magazine:
  • "Through the hardships of a fictional girl at a detention camp, Lowenthal skillfully lends voice to these women, while raising issues that feel relevant and immediate today."
  • December 17, 2006
  • A positive early review of Charity Girl in The Buffalo News:
  • "Well-told, finely detailed. . . manages to both illuminate and entertain. It's a real find."
  • December 7, 2006
  • Charity Girl has been named a BookSense Pick for January.
  • Thanks to all the independent booksellers who nominated it for this honor.
  • For more information, click here.