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MICHAEL LOWENTHAL

Reviews

The Paternity Test

"A beautifully told story that brings myriad social issues to the forefront, and also manages to be a literary page-turner."

Jewish Daily Forward

"The Paternity Test is at once heartbreaking and groundbreaking. It's a brave, warts-and-all examination of a troubled gay couple . . . who take dramatic measures in an effort to mend their fraying open relationship. . . . Paternity tests aren't taken for grades, but this one nonetheless deserves an A."

Jim Gladstone, Passport Magazine

". . . readers—both gay and straight—will come away from Lowenthal's novel with a deeper understanding not only of the ethical issues surrounding surrogacy, but also of the ever-evolving gay community."

Publishers Weekly

"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. . . . The parallel story line about Stu's family and his sister's struggles with fertility and adoption offers a useful counterpoint to the main plot, where issues of family, identity, desire, and responsibility collide . . . On the whole, Lowenthal handles these many strands with aplomb."

Boston Globe

"A compelling read for anyone who wants to know what family truly means today."

Wayne Hoffman, Jewish Book World

"A compelling, painstakingly honest portrait of a gay couple's logistical and emotional journey to become parents . . . a quintessential page-turner."

Edge.com

"Thrilling, funny, sexy, and psychologically complex."

Tim Miller, Bay Windows

"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. . . Rich with angst and eagerness, laced with past-inflicted pain, and yet . . . still hopeful. . . . One of those novels that will stick in your mind. If you miss The Paternity Test, in fact, you’ll kick yourself."

Long Island Pulse


Charity Girl

"Lively and illuminating. . . a gift."

— Anita Shreve, Washington Post Book World

"A convincing portrait of a long-lost world."

New York Times Book Review

"Engaging historical page-turner. . . It's a measure of the author's success that you keep hoping for a fairy-tale ending even when every clue hints that nothing similar is remotely possible."

San Francisco Chronicle


Avoidance

"The best novel that has come or is likely to come out of the Catholic sexual child-abuse scandal appeared late last year, and it happens to be a work by a Jew in which no Catholic appears. Michael Lowenthal's only contact with the Roman Catholic Church, so far as I know, is that he teaches creative writing at a Catholic university, Boston College. Not to be coy, Avoidance is neither a novel with a Catholic setting nor a roman à clef nor some kind of allegory. The setting is a boys summer camp, and religion is never mentioned in the story. Yet Lowenthal recreates with exceptional honesty and sympathy a poignant human drama of which during the past year the Catholic Church has offered more than its share of examples...

"Reading Lowenthal can be like sparring with a partner who dances around and never stops joking but every so often pops you one right in the kisser...

"[He] makes me think of the novelist Michael Cunningham—not the Cunningham of The Hours but the younger Cunningham of A Home at the End of the World. This is only Lowenthal's second novel, but he has the talent to go as far as Cunningham has gone. He has the same eye and ear for the interiority of "families," whatever shape they take. He has the same uncanny ability to fuse a place and a cast of characters in his reader's mind. He has the same lyricism on tap. And he has, in addition, the above mentioned left jab."

— Jack Miles, Commonweal Magazine


The Same Embrace

"Deeply felt...Lowenthal uses luminous language that often imbues ordinary gestures and events with deeper meaning. The Same Embrace is an eloquent exploration of the nature of faith, the consequences of judgment and the stubborn endurance of family ties."

New York Times Book Review

"[Lowenthal's] prose is limned with rich metaphors, and his story is populated with characters both likable and complex...The Same Embrace deserves to welcomed with open arms."

The Philadelphia Inquirer

"There's scarcely a page in this well-crafted first novel that doesn't bristle with brilliant writing and keen insight."

The Advocate