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Michael Alenyikov

M.D. Neu, author of Volaria

Michael Alenyikov is the pen name for the author of Ivan and Misha, which received the Northern CA Book Award for Fiction and the Gina Berriault Award from San Francisco State U. It was a Finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction.

His writing has appeared in: Foglifter, Chicago Quarterly Review, James White Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, New York Stories, the Georgia Review, the Gay & Lesbian Review, The Forge and many other publications. His story, Arithmetic was performed on stage by San Francisco’s Word for Word acting company. His stories have appeared in three editions of the anthology series, Best Gay Stories, Lethe Press.

He’s a native of New York City. His childhood was spent in the outer reaches of the Bronx, Brooklyn (Avenue Z on the shores of Gravesend Bay!), Queens, with several years in Phoenix and L.A. wedged in between the Bronx and Brooklyn. Graduate school led to a sojourn in Syracuse, NY, where he received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, followed by a decade in Boston and Cambridge, MA. An interest in filmmaking led to a summer program at NYU, and a new career writing and content development for multimedia projects in Manhattan.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) during its late 20th century grassroots days. He was disabled with a neuro immune disease (ME/CFS), which led him to San Francisco, where he’s a long time resident, and to writing. He hates to say illness can be a gift (it’s not), but when he stopped working he pursued a lifelong dream to write fiction.

His main agenda in his fiction is to create complex gay male characters--although not exclusively gay men--who struggle to make sense of their lives often under challenging circumstances. He’s excited to see his second book published by Spectrum and to retire his projected tombstone moniker of: “Here lies a one book wonder.”

He has no pets or husband but does have an affordable apartment in San Francisco, which is kind of a wonder. He facilitates what’s become known as the 18th St writing group now in its 20th year. Thanks to Zoom, it survived the pandemic and now has international reach.


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