“I was not a happy teen. I’d never write about being happy”, were the exact words written by Leonard Michaels, a novelist, short story writer, critic, and professor, in his published diaries. He did go through with his word. Every single one of his works revolved on unique personal sadness, including his famous work, and the center of this paper, “Murderers”. Michaels’ style of writing was greatly influenced by his personal experiences.
Being born on Polish immigrants and being raised on the Lower East Side of New York, you could expect something of a dramatic and inappropriate childhood setting with his daily life. The story was written in a terse, direct way, and surprisingly, for something too tragic, very specific. The readers could expect to be taken by melancholy, bleakness, and despair for his style is quite effective to his audience. His tone, grammar and usage of imagery revealed too much of him that he ultimately made his presence known in his work.
His vocabulary has a trace of the 1940’s expressions, since the setting was exactly where he grew up. His sentences oftentimes are both astonishing and illuminating, like the way his characters just shrugged off someone’s death in front of their eyes. It, in a way, revealed a lot of unwanted truths about his unfortunate life, and that of those who live in the area. The whole story was written like it was a reflection of the things he regrets, and reading it was totally eye opening. It made the readers, especially me, realize how fortunate we are. Fortunate not to have had the same horrifying experiences.