Michael Lavigne is the author of two books of fiction. His first novel, NOT ME, published by Random House, was the recipient of the Sami Rohr Choice Award for emerging Jewish writers, was an American Library Association Sophie Brodie Honor Book, a Book of the Month Club Alternate, and was translated into three languages. Michael’s second novel, THE WANTING, will be published by Pantheon under the Schocken imprint early in 2013.
Mr. Lavigne began seriously writing fiction only at midlife, and was a participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers where he was discovered and mentored by the late Henry Carlisle. Before turning to fiction, he had a long career in advertising, with stints at Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Mather, and his own agency in San Francisco, Freeman Lavigne Blanshei. His work has won numerous awards, including the Clio, New York Film Festival, Cannes, Communication Arts, the Effie and the Addy. He also directed commercials and short films including two for the PBS series, “Working,” and has been an instructor of writing for radio and television at the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, Mr. Lavigne spent three years living and working in the former Soviet Union where he forged close connections to the refusenik and dissident communities. When he returned home, he joined the boards of both the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews, and the Northern California Region of the Anti-defamation League. He chaired the committee that created the new Tauber Jewish Studies Program at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, which features an intensive curriculum for adult learners.
Michael Lavigne was born in Newark, New Jersey and spent part of his childhood in the suburb of Millburn-Short Hills. He was educated at the University of Tennessee, Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago, where he received an M.A. in General Studies in the Humanities and an A.B.D. from the Committee on Social Thought. He lives with his wife, Gayle, in San Francisco, and has two grown sons.