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Michael Lowenthal & Scott Heim

Michael Lowenthal (born May 9, 1969) is an American fiction writer, author of four novels, most recently The Paternity Test, (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012). In 1995, Lowenthal met writer Scott Heim (who has written and published three novels - including Mysterious Skin, which Gregg Araki adapted into a marvelous film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt) at OutWrite, a gay writers' conference.

To the question: "How do two writers manage to live together without winding up as a screaming headline in Weekly World News: "HOMO WRITERS SHOT-STABBED-DROWNED IN BIZARRE MURDER-SUICIDE PACT"?" Lowenthal replied: "You’ve given me a great idea: maybe Scott and I should murder each other. Think of the publicity! Book sales galore! Until we decide to go that route, though, what I try to keep in mind is that writing is not a zero-sum game. His creativity does not detract from mine, or vice versa, and neither does his success. But the real secret is this: I go to bed and wake up four or five hours earlier than he does every day, so we each get a big chunk of time to ourselves while the other is asleep."

Currently an instructor of creative writing at Lesley University and Boston College, he has been the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan writers' conferences, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The Kenyon Review, Tin House, and Esquire.

Michael Lowenthal is an American fiction writer, author of 4 novels, most recently The Paternity Test. In 1995 Lowenthal met writer Scott Heim, who has written and published 3 novels - including Mysterious Skin. "His creativity does not detract from mine, or vice versa, and neither does his success. But the real secret is this: I go to bed and wake up four or five hours earlier than he does every day, so we each get a big chunk of time to ourselves while the other is asleep."

Lowenthal grew up near Washington, D.C. and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1990 as a class valedictorian. During his speech, he revealed that he was Dartmouth's first openly gay valedictorian. The Dartmouth Review said that he singlehandedly ruined the graduation ceremony; however, The New York Times reported that this statement earned him a standing ovation.

He was awarded the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in 2009.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lowenthal

Scott Heim (born September 26, 1966) is an American novelist from Hutchinson, Kansas, currently living in Massachusetts. Heim's first novel, Mysterious Skin, was published in 1995.

Scott Heim was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1966. He grew up in a small farming community there, and later attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, earning a B.A. in English and Art History in 1989 and an M.A. in English Literature in 1991. He attended the M.F.A. program in Writing at Columbia University, where he wrote his first novel, Mysterious Skin. HarperCollins published that book in 1996, and Scott followed it with another novel, In Awe, in 1997. In 2008, his third novel, We Disappear, was published, this time as a paperback original with HarperPerennial. This novel won the 2009 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Fiction.

In 2012, Heim began publishing a series of music-related nonfiction collections called "The First Time I Heard" series, for which he serves as editor. In these books, musicians and writers tell their stories of when they first heard a specific iconic band or artist. The first five installments of the "First Time" series have focused on Joy Division / New Order, Cocteau Twins, David Bowie, The Smiths, and Kate Bush. (Thus far, contributors to these books have included notable musicians such as David Gedge of The Wedding Present, David Narcizo of Throwing Muses, Grasshopper of Mercury Rev, Lou Rhodes of Lamb, Joan Wasser, David Balfe of The Teardrop Explodes, Craig Wedren and Nathan Larson of Shudder To Think, John Grant, Annette Peacock, Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi of Lush, Ian Masters of Pale Saints, Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape For a Blue Girl, Mark Van Hoen, Pieter Nooten, Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon, and avant-garde pianist Harold Budd.) Heim has scheduled future "First Time" books on Abba, Kraftwerk, My Bloody Valentine, R.E.M., Roxy Music, Pixies, and other artists.

Heim won fellowships to the London Arts Board as their International Writer-in-Residence, and to the Sundance Screenwriters' Lab for his adaptation of Mysterious Skin. He is also the author of a book of poems, Saved From Drowning (1993).

Mysterious Skin was adapted for the stage by playwright Prince Gomolvilas, premiering in San Francisco. It was subsequently adapted to film by director Gregg Araki and Antidote Films. The movie starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brady Corbet, Elisabeth Shue, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Mary Lynn Rajskub.

Heim's fiction, nonfiction and reviews have appeared in The Village Voice, Out, The Advocate, Interview, Time Out New York, Nerve, Christopher Street, The Minnesota Review, and many other periodicals.

After living eleven years in New York, Heim relocated to Boston in 2002.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Heim
Mysterious Skin was Heim´s debut novel and it´s weird, wonderful, and disturbing, combining alien abduction, memory loss, and child sexual abuse in a compelling, lyrical, and thought-provoking narrative. --Rick R. Reed
Mysterious Skin is a novel where the tale is told by two different narrators, both speaking in first person. In “Mysterious Skin,” this is especially striking as the two protagonists, although contemporaries, could hardly be more different from each other. I loved the way Heim wove together the past and the present, and especially the clues to secrets from the past. I loved that it was set in the Midwest, where I also grew up. The territory here which I hadn’t seen much of was the organic development that gay boys have as children, and how experiences can shape them into the kind of young adults they become. The dark center of adult corruption in this novel is elevated by the bright optimism of youth. --Jim Arnold
Further Readings:

We Disappear: A Novel (P.S.) by Scott Heim
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061468975
Amazon: We Disappear: A Novel
Amazon Kindle: We Disappear: A Novel

The body of a teenage boy is discovered in a Kansas field. The murder haunts Donna—a recent widow battling cancer—calling forth troubling details from long-suppressed memories of her past. Hoping to discover more about "disappeared" people, she turns to her son, Scott, who is fighting demons of his own. Addicted to methamphetamines and sleeping pills, Scott is barely holding on—though the chance to help his mother in her strange and desperate search holds out a slim promise of some small salvation.

But what he finds is a boy named Otis handcuffed in a secret basement room, and the questions that arise seem too disturbing even to contemplate. With his mother's health rapidly deteriorating, he must surrender to his own obsession, and unravel Otis's unsettling connections to other missing teens . . . and, ultimately, to Scott himself.

Further Readings:

The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (September 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 029929000X
ISBN-13: 978-0299290009
Amazon: The Paternity Test
Amazon Kindle: The Paternity Test

Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother?
Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.
As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?
In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new “family values."

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