Michael Quadland

As a psychologist in New York City, writer Michael C. Quadland is often asked to what extent his practice informs his fiction. “Never directly, of course,” Quadland says. “That would be unethical. But in my work, I listen to people’s stories and together we analyze them. This is like discovering a rich new vein in a mine each day,” he says, “and, in a general way, it can’t help but influence my writing.”

Quadland graduated from Dartmouth College and received a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University and a PhD in psychology from New York University. In addition to his psychotherapy practice, he has taught human sexuality at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He was involved in the AIDS epidemic from its inception in the early 1980s as a founder of clinical programs at Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He also oversaw research on ways to change sexual behavior in order to reduce the risk of viral transmission. In this context, he published a number of journal articles and spoke out publicly about risk reduction. He also lost many friends to the disease.

Like many burnt-out health professionals at that time, Quadland left AIDS work in 1994 and became devoted full-time to his private practice. He also turned to writing fiction. The Los Angeles Times published a nonfiction article of his in 1995 about the death of a friend. That Was Then (Red Hen Press 2007) is his third novel. The first two, he says, have been consigned to a drawer labeled “Learning to Write.”

The backstory of That Was Then, chronicling an adolescent boy’s relationship with his school teacher, was the story Quadland had initially set out to tell, back in 1994. Now it is part of a larger work, intended to show how intense early-life experiences influence adult lives. Unlike most stories of sexual abuse, however, this is not a story of innocence versus evil, of victim and perpetrator. Quadland makes his readers work harder than that, posing questions and forcing us to search our own internal margins for the answers.

“The thrill of writing fiction,” Quadland says, “is taking control of how my characters respond to situations, something I can’t do with my patients! Writing is my passion. My psychotherapy practice puts bread on the table. The combination makes for an interesting, challenging and fun time.”

All Books


Michael Quadland

Publication Date: March 1, 2012

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-502-0


On a wintry morning in 1974, Hank Preston makes a semen delivery to the New York Hospital Fertility Clinic. Running late, he takes the elevator rather than the stairway earmarked for such deliveries. A woman enters, the recipient of his semen, and a relationship develops that threatens to blow their already rocky lives to smithereens.

To add to Hank’s problems, his transgendered boss at the Strand Bookstore is in love with him. “But I’m straight,” Hank protests. “And I’m a woman,” Joey insists.

The odd intermingling of these vibrant characters makes for an unforgettable story. Hank needs to come to terms with what happened to him in Vietnam. Karen, the would-be mother, needs to clarify the difference between fantasy and reality. Joey, the sanest of the three, despite, or maybe because of, her gender mix-up, shares her wisdom and tries, somewhat unsuccessfully, to hold them all on course. Secrets are revealed as a twisting plot erupts in a fiery conclusion.

Offspring is a story of longings, thwarted dreams, and the search for truth, of family, and our fervent need to belong.

That Was Then

Michael Quadland

Publication Date: January 31, 2008

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-088-9


On a rainy afternoon in 1985, Corey Moore, a single, thirty-eight-year-old New York psychologist runs into his childhood girlfriend on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Eleventh Street, just up from Washington Square. Gina, an actress, is twice divorced and focused on her career. Corey attends her opening that evening, and three months later, they marry. Things don’t go smoothly, though, as they hadn’t twenty years earlier. Together, they buy an old house in Connecticut, thinking they might shore up their own sagging connection in the process of renovation.

By means of flashback, the reader observes Corey and Gina as adolescents. We meet Corey’s music teacher, with whom Corey is involved, sexually. We meet the boys Gina uses to act out against the Catholic strangle hold of her parents. This backstory reaches a climax that blows all these relationships apart and marks Corey and Gina for life.

Bored with the house restoration, Gina brings an actor friend to Connecticut one weekend. Jack and Corey hit it off from the start, and Corey is startled and dismayed at the intensity of his feelings for Jack. The novel follows their relationship over the succeeding three years, as a secret is revealed that changes everything for the two men.

That Was Then is a story of adolescent confusion and trauma and its effect on adult lives. It is also a story of withholding and the damage that can come of it. Ultimately, it is a story of love appearing in unexpected and varied forms.