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Michael Zadoorian


Michael Zadoorian

Michael Zadoorian was born in Detroit, Michigan and has lived in the area for his entire life. His father was a photographer for The Detroit Edison Company for 35 years, photographing nuclear power plants, parades, "All Electric Kitchens," corporate bigwigs and victims of electrocution. His mother was a homemaker. He attended the public schools in Detroit, then went on to graduate from Wayne State University with a Liberal Arts degree. In the mid eighties, he discovered the work of Raymond Carver, which inspired him to start writing fiction. 

During this time, he continued to work his day job writing advertising copy for used car dealers, luncheon meats, banks and pizza chains, but kept working on his stories. Though it took a while to shake off the influence of Carver, he soon started to develop his own voice and a style that reflected his own sensibilities. More and more, he found himself writing about his hometown of Detroit and the people he knew there. Before long, his work started to appear in various literary magazines and journals including The North American Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The Literary Review, American Short Fiction, and the European journals Panurge and Paris Transcontinental

Michael Zadoorian's first novel, SECOND HAND (W.W. Norton), about a Detroit-area junk store owner was released in 2000. The New York Times Book Review wrote SECOND HAND "may be a gift from the (Tiki) gods" and called it "a romantic adventure that explores what Yeats called 'the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.'" SECOND HAND was selected for Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers Program and as an American Booksellers Association "Book Sense" pick; it also received the Great Lakes Colleges Association prestigious New Writers Award. Recently translated into Italian and French, it continues to be a cult favorite, still popping up on blogs and "favorite book" lists. 

Zadoorian's second and most recent novel THE LEISURE SEEKER has already garnered rave reviews from all over the world. In a starred review, Booklist wrote "THE LEISURE SEEKER is pretty much like life itself: joyous, painful, moving, tragic, mysterious, and not to be missed." The L.A. Times said: Zadoorian is true to these geezers. He draws them in their most honest light. I hoped for a book that would make me laugh during these tight times, and I was rewarded." And the Sydney Morning Herald stated: "This is a sad, sweet love letter to a fading America, elevated beyond its simple premise by its sharp humour about aging and a quietly shocking's hard to think of a more purely likeable novel in recent times." 

His short story collection The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit (Wayne State University Press) follows characters coming to terms with the past and the present in a broken city. "These are stories that grab you, shake you and slap you upside the head...working toward perfection in short-story form." (Lansing State Journal)

Zadoorian still works as a copywriter in the Detroit area. He has also worked as a journalist, a magazine feature writer, a voice over talent, a shipping room clerk, and a plant guard for Chrysler. He lives with his wife in an old house filled with things that used to be in the houses of other people.