When I first moved to Orange County, local author, professor and member of the local creative class--Michael Malone—rang me up to offer a warm welcome and give me an overview of Hillsborough’s arts scene. Michael loved Hillsborough and always envisioned a performing arts hall for the community. He thought I might be able to help bring this vision to reality.
Michael died on August 19, 2022 at his home in Clinton, Connecticut where he and his wife Maureen Quilligan spent their summers. He will be buried in Hillsborough, NC in the cemetery of St. Mathews Episcopal Church.
Author of fourteen beloved books, graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, and ABD at Harvard, Michael Malone wrote his first three novels set in California, Colorado, and Connecticut.
He wrote his next four books, Handling Sin, Uncivil Seasons, Times Witness, and Foolscap, all set in the south. When he moved to Hillsborough in 2000, he wrote his final books, First Lady, Four Corners of the Sky, and The Last Noel.
In the middle of his achievements in fiction, he fulfilled one of his oldest dreams of "writing for Broadway" by accepting a job at 66th and Broadway (home of ABC Television) as Head Writer for the daytime drama, "One Life to Live," for which he won an Emmy and a Writer's Guild award. He also co-wrote another book, The Killing Club.
He was working on a fourth book in his "Cuddy and Justin" series when he fell ill with cancer.
He was a gifted teacher, the "wittiest professor I've ever had" a Harvard student quipped. For a number of years he led a class of 300 students at Duke University in a course he called "America Dreams American Movies" (ADAM) in which they studied the many genres of popular film. Malone founded amateur theatrical societies wherever he lived: CATS in Clinton, CT, PHATS in Philadelphia, PA and HATS in Hillsborough, NC. For 13 years in a row, with noted Hillsborough author Allan Gurganus, Malone performed their two-man adaptation of A Christmas Carol at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, NC. They sold out every show.
A donor to the Southern Poverty Law Center for over 40 years, Michael's family asks that any donations in his name be made to this increasingly crucial institution.