Michael Mewshaw

Michael Mewshaw, photo by Sean Mewshaw
Michael Mewshaw, photo by Sean Mewshaw

Michael Mewshaw’s writing career spans five decades and twenty-two books—eleven novels, four memoirs, two true crime accounts of murder cases, three books about pro tennis, and two travel books. Regardless of the genre, his work has as its hallmark a persistent challenge to conventional wisdom and a reexamination of previous texts.

In The Toll, Mewshaw used Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls as the template for a novel about a revolution in Morocco. Island Tempest updates William Shakespeare’s The Tempest to an exclusive retirement enclave off the coast of Florida. And Lying with the Dead re-imagines The Oresteia trilogy in a Maryland suburb. His best-known novel, Year of the Gun, later made into a movie directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Sharon Stone, is a meta-fiction embedded in factual reporting about Red Brigades terrorism in Italy. His latest book, The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy, will be published in early 2019.

Hundreds of Mewshaw’s articles, reviews, and literary profiles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Playboy, and newspapers and magazines around the world. He has won a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Guggenheim grant, the Wallace Stegner Prize, the Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Nonfiction two times, and many awards for his tennis reporting. National Geographic chose Between Terror and Tourism as one of the top travel books of 2010.

Mewshaw spends the winter in Key West, Florida, with his wife, Linda, and lives the rest of the year in Europe.

selected bibliography

The Lost Prince by Michael Mewshaw
The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy (2019)
Sympathy for the Devil by Michael Mewshaw
Sympathy for the Devil: Four Decades of Friendship with Gore Vidal (2015)
Lying with the Dead by Michael Mewshaw
Lying with the Dead (2009)
Year of the Gun (1984)

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online resources

Michael Mewshaw interview in Kirkus Reviews, January 14, 2015
Mewshaw biography in BookBrowse
“Mewshaw, an author’s author, tells all in a memoir rich in literary encounters,” SFGate, March 29, 2003

Video: Mewshaw speaks at the American Library in Paris.