Time Out of Mind: The Diaries of Leonard Michaels, 1961-1995

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Riverhead Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 214 pages
3 Reviews
Leonard Michaels tells us that he began keeping a journal because he had no one to talk to about his troubled early marriage, which ended in his wife's suicide. Over the years, he reveals here, he has found many things easier to confide to paper than to friends and family. Now, with the publication of his journals, we follow this distinguished writer's progress. As we see the world anew through his eyes, we also gain rare insight into what it means to be a writer.

Time out of Mind contains the sometimes carefully crafted, sometimes emotionally raw musings of a man who has difficulty reconciling himself to the world. He reports on the conversations of others, finding, instead of meaning, people's inability to communicate. He gets drawn into the dramas of people's lives, and feels guilty for their misfortunes. He tries to please, and is misunderstood. And he sees, with a vividness few of us do, the beauty and the strangeness in the world.

Often hilarious and always riveting, Time out of Mind describes Michaels as friend, lover, husband, and father. With surprising dramatic intensity, it captures the character of the times, beginning in the early sixties, when he was a young writer living in Greenwich Village, and continuing through the political mayhem of the Vietnam era during his student days at Ann Arbor, then on into the seventies and eighties in Berkeley, where Michaels was for many years a professor of English literature.

Some of these entries have been published before -- in The New Yorker, The Three-Penny Review, and in Michael's autobiographical novella Sylvia. Read as a whole, they form a spellbinding narrative, intimate and compulsive, that makes clear why Michaels hasbeen hailed as a master of observation, and as one of the most talented writers of our time.

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Review: Time out of Mind: The Diaries of Leonard Michaels, 1961-1995

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

I am a huge fan of Leonard Michaels' stories. He is a master of the voice-driven narrative and hugely funny besides. This book covers his diaries from 1961-1995. I found it completely engaging. I'm ... Read full review

Review: Time out of Mind: The Diaries of Leonard Michaels, 1961-1995

User Review  - Amanda Winfree - Goodreads

My all-time favorite book by my all-time favorite author, this is an amazing collection of Leonard Michaels' journal entries. Every page either tore me apart or put me back together again. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I think this world misses him very much. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Leonard Michaels was for many years a professor of English literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

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