Michael Ventura

Michael Ventura

Michael Ventura (born 31 October 1945) is an American novelist, screenwriter, essayist, and cultural critic.



Michael Ventura commenced his career as a journalist at the Austin Sun, a counter-culture bi-weekly newspaper that published in the 1970s. Ventura is best known for his long-running column, "Letters at 3 A.M.", which first appeared in L.A. Weekly in the early 1980s and now appears biweekly in the Austin Chronicle. He has published three novels: Night Time Losing Time (1989), The Zoo Where You're Fed to God (1994), and The Death of Frank Sinatra (1996). He is currently completing another novel, about Miriam of Magdala, an excerpt from which was published in the third issue of the CalArts literary journal Black Clock in 2005. He is the author of two essay collections, Shadow-Dancing in the U.S.A. (1985) (out of print) and Letters at 3 A.M.: Reports on Endarkenment (1994). With psychologist James Hillman, Ventura co-authored the 1992 bestseller We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse.

He appears as a fictional character in Steve Erickson's 1996 novel, Amnesiascope.

He wrote the screenplay for Echo Park (1986), among other movies, including Roadie (1980), co-written with fellow Austin Sun alumnus "Big Boy" Medlin.[citation needed].

He curated the Sundance Festival's 1989 retrospective on John Cassavetes.



  • Night Time Losing Time (1989)
  • The Zoo Where You're Fed to God (1994)
  • The Death of Frank Sinatra (1996)



  • Roadie (1980)
  • Echo Park (1986)



  • USA PEN award
  • Los Angeles Press Club Award
  • Upton Sinclair Award



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