Bio

Alaska magazine editor since 2013, Michelle Theall, started her career in publishing in 1994 at Women’s Sports and Fitness magazine. Over the next 27 years, she garnered success as editor-in-chief of three different national titles, founder of one, and the author of three non-fiction books. She has appeared on NBC Today, MSNBC, The Travel Channel, and the Fox Sports Network, and was recently featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. Her feature essay in 5280 Magazine, All That’s Left is God, earned a GLAAD Media Award nomination, which led to her best-selling memoir, Teaching the Cat to Sit, about growing up gay and Catholic in the Texas Bible Belt. She is currently at work on her debut novel, Skeleton Canyon, about a young woman shocked by a doctor’s request to make medical decisions for her brother, who supposedly died ten years ago when the two were separated in foster care. Theall worked as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected teens before she and her wife became foster parents, which led to the adoption of their son. She is represented by Aevitas Literary Agency.

In addition to writing and editing, Theall’s obsession with The Last Frontier and photography led to the creation of Wild Departures, her wildlife viewing company specializing in photo tours in Alaska and beyond. As an award-winning professional photographer, Theall is represented by Cavan stock agency, and her images have appeared in media across the globe and in private collections.

Her writing and photography have appeared in national magazines and web sites including, National GeographicHealth, Sierra Magazine, Backpacker, UtneReader, Outdoor Photographer, Oxygen, and other titles.

She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her wife, their son, and two pups.

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Teaching the Cat to Sit

“A clear-eyed, brave-hearted and utterly unforgettable memoir.”
SARA CORBETT, co-author of the New York Times bestseller A House in the Sky

“Packed with big issues and told with real mastery.”
—KELLY CORRIGAN, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place, Lift, and Glitter and Glue

“Powerful down to the last page.”
—JULIA SCHEERES, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Land

“Genuinely moving, compelling, and at times, hilarious.”
—WENDY LAWLESS, New York Times bestselling author of Chanel Bonfire

“Life under the microscope…an emotional ride.”
—JENNIFER WILSON, Parents magazine contributor and author of Running Away to Home

“A powerful reminder of the ways that discrimination and cruelty still flourish.”
—CRIS BEAM, author of To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, New York Times selection for Notable Non-Fiction 2013

Teaching the Cat to Sit is about the most important thing of all: Unconditional love.”
BUZZY JACKSON, Boston Globe Contributor and author of Shaking the Family Tree

“Warm, courageous, deeply honest, heartbreaking, heart-mending.”
—PAM HOUSTON, author of Contents May Have Shifted

“All heart—painfully and beautifully so.”
—LORI DURON, author of Raising My Rainbow

“A powerful testimony to the healing power of language.”
—Publishers Weekly