Non-Resident Scholar of Culture and Politics
With six critically acclaimed best-selling novels, multiple works of non-fiction, a record-setting TV movie, and several motion-picture scripts in the production pipeline, author and screenwriter Michael Walsh has achieved the writer’s trifecta: two New York Times best-sellers, a major literary award winner, and the Disney Channel’s then-highest-rated show.
His most recent book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace (Encounter Books, 2015), a cultural and literary study of the heroic principle in Western civilization, was a surprise breakout hit upon publication. Examining the nature of good and evil via such analytical tools as Milton’s Paradise Lost, Goethe’s Faust, the Frankfurt School, and the music of Richard Wagner, the work made multiple best-seller lists. A companion volume, The Fiery Angel, is now underway.
The 1998 publication of As Time Goes By — his controversial prequel/sequel to everybody‘s favorite movie, Casablanca¸ commissioned by Warner Books — created a literary sensation; translated into more than twenty languages, including Portuguese, German, Chinese and Hebrew, the story of Rick and Ilsa landed on best-seller lists around the world.
His first novel, the dark thriller Exchange Alley, was published by Warner Books in July 1997. Hailed by critics for its moody depiction of a crumbling Soviet Union – which Walsh covered first-hand as a correspondent for Time Magazine – and a violent, dangerous New York City during the darkest days of the early 1990s, the debut novel was selected as an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.
Walsh’s third novel, the gripping gangster saga, And All the Saints, was named a winner at the 2004 American Book Awards; even before publication, the movie rights to this fictionalized “autobiography” of the legendary Prohibition-era gangster Owney Madden was bought by MGM.
His “Devlin” trilogy for Kensington Books – Hostile Intent, Early Warning and Shock Warning – has appeared on the New York Times best-seller lists; at least two more installments in the thriller series about the National Security Agency and its most secret operative, are on the way.
In the spring of 2002, the Disney Channel premiered Walsh’s original movie (co-written with Gail Parent), Cadet Kelly, starring teen idol Hilary Duff of “Lizzie McGuire” fame. Until High School Musical, the two-hour film reigned as the highest-rated original movie in Disney Channel history, as well as the Disney Channel’s highest-rated single program ever.
His original screenplay Charlie¸set during the last years of the Cold War, to be directed by Mikael Hafstrom, is currently being prepped for production in 2017.