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In 1960, after two years of graduate school at Berkeley, I returned to New York without a Ph.D. or any idea what I’d do, only a desire to write stories. I’d also been to graduate school at the University of Michigan, from 1953 to 1956. All in all, five years of classes in literature. I don’t know how else I might have spent those five years, but I didn’t want to hear more lectures, study for more exams, or see myself growing old in the library. There was an advertisement in the school paper for someone to take a car from Berkeley to New York, expenses paid.
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Leonard Michaels (1933–2003) was the author of Going Places, I Would Have Saved Them If I Could, and The Men’s Club, among other books. FSG will publish his Collected Stories in June to coincide with the reissue of Sylvia.