Michael Upchurch was born in 1954 and grew up in England, the Netherlands and New Jersey. He attended the University of Exeter, UK, where he earned his BA in English in 1975. From 1975 to 1979, he lived in Raleigh, North Carolina. From 1979 to 1986, he lived in Brooklyn, New York. Since 1986, he has lived in Seattle. He is married to film critic John Hartl.
His first novel, "Jamboree," was published by Knopf in 1981. Two novels from Available Press/Ballantine followed: "Air" (1986) and "The Flame Forest" (1989). Norton published his novel, "Passive Intruder," in 1995. In 2005, his essay “Stead Made Me Do It: House of All Nations by Christina Stead” was included in "Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love," edited by Anne Fadiman and published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Between 1987 and 1998, he worked as a freelance arts journalist, covering books, movies, theater, dance, music, visual arts and burlesque. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Oregonian, American Scholar, American Interest and other publications, including cover stories in the first four publications named above. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and was a finalist for NBCC’s Nona Balakian citation in 1997 and 2000.
From 1998 to 2008, he was the Seattle Times’ staff book critic. From 2008 to 2014, he was the Seattle Times’ general arts writer. In 2014, he resigned from the Seattle Times to concentrate on fiction and literary journalism.
His author interviews have appeared in Glimmer Train (Doris Lessing, E. Annie Proulx, Abdelrahman Munif, Ernest Gaines and others), San Francisco Review (Nicholson Baker and Paul Theroux), and Seattle Times (John Mortimer, Jessica Hagedorn, Jonathan Raban, Sue Hubbell, Michael Ondaatje and others).
His short fiction has been published in Bellingham Review, Moss, Golden Handcuffs Review, Foglifter (Vol. 2, Issue 1, 2017), Carolina Quarterly (Winter 1979), Christopher Street (Issue 111, 1987), Glimmer Train (Issue 27, Summer 1998; Issue 35, Summer 2000), Conjunctions: 51 – The Death Issue (2008), The Seattle Review (Volume 3, Numbers 1 & 2, 2010), Southwest Review (Autumn/Winter 2017, Volume 102, Numbers 3 and 4).
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