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Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of English
6 The Green
Room 314, East Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2457
Email Lecturer
Michael Downing

A.B., Harvard University

Michael Downing is the author of seven books, two plays, and numerous essays and stories. Click here for updated information about his current projects and recent reviews, publications, and media appearances, As well as featured appearances on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the NBC Today Show,CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood,CNN's In the Money and Headline News,Fox's national news and Neil Cavutoshow, MSNBC, C-SPAN's Book TV,and Canadian television's World Newson the CBC,Michael is regularly heard on national and syndicated radio shows, including National Public Radio's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, On Point, Living on Earth, Here and Now,the BBC's national news and Five Live talk show, and Sunday Edition on CBC radio.

Michael's reviews, essays, and stories appear in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Toronto Globe and Mail, Boston Globe, Commonweal, Harvard Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, Boston Phoenixand other newspapers and periodicals.

Research Interests

  • Creative Writing

Publication Highlights


  • Life with Sudden Death: A Memoir(Counterpoint, forthcoming: October 2009)
  • Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time (Counterpoint, 2005; paperback, 2006; revised edition, 2009)
  • Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center(Counterpoint, 2001; paperback, 2002)
  • Breakfast with Scot,a novel(Counterpoint, 1999; paperback 2001; movie tie-in edition 2008)
  • Perfect Agreement, a novel (Counterpoint, 1997; paperback, Berkley Books, 1998; new Counterpoint edition forthcoming: December 2009)
  • Mother of God, a novel (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990)
  • A Narrow Time, a novel (New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1987)


  • The Last Shaker, a play (commissioned by Boston Triangle Theater; premiered 1994-95)
  • Breakfast with Scot, a play (commissioned by New Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco; premiered August 2004)