was born in Philadelphia and educated at Duke, Oxford, and the University of California at Irvine, where he received the Gellman Founder’s Award. He began his career as an actor, appearing in numerous Off-Broadway shows and playing Romeo for a Joseph Papp production of Romeo and Juliet. His first novel, Simple Prayers, was published in 1994. A national bestseller, it has been translated into ten foreign languages, and the film version, executive produced by Martin Scorcese, is in development. Benjamin’s Gift, his second novel, was published in 2000. Michael’s translation of Alessandro Baricco’s stage play Novecento opened the 2002 Edinburgh Festival and his screenplay adaptation of the best-selling novel Silk was released in 2007. Directed by Francois Girard (The Red Violin) and starring Keira Knightley and Alfred Molina, it was a Featured Selection at the Toronto Film Festival.
Michael has lived in New York, Paris, Venice, London, Amsterdam, and Moscow and currently resides in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northern California. He teaches writing and literature at Yuba College. His most recent novel, A Poet of the Invisible World, was published in 2015. It was a nominee for the Lambda Literary Award and the recipient of the 2016 Ferro-Grumley Award.