Leonard Michaels 1933–
American short story writer and novelist.
Michaels's two collections of short stories, Going Places and I Would Have Saved Them If I Could, attain their impact by contrasting ordinary events in the lives of middle-class Americans with unsuspected, surrealistic violence. Michaels's bizarre humor, in which critics see various literary influences, balances the otherwise grim theme of his works: the lack of meaning in modern life.
His first novel, The Men's Club, is written in a format similar to The Canterbury Tales; the characters take turns telling the story of their lives. While some critics found The Men's Club too episodic, others lauded Michaels for his success in evoking the changing personality of a group from awkwardness, to intimacy, and then to something primitive—a Lord of the Flies transposed to California.
(See also CLC, Vol. 6 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 61-64.)