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Historical Fiction

The Italian Daze: Notes from a Lost Traveler

This book is a hybrid text. In one sense, it is a collection of stories; but the protagonist is the same throughout and the stories appear in chronological order, so that the book is a kind of fragmented but coherent bildungsroman or romanzo di formazione, as readers watch the protagonist mature, learn from his mistakes, as his many experiences with friends, lovers and acquaintances help him grow in his understanding of Italian Americans, Italian, Italy, and life itself, especially in relation to his own ethnic and national identifications. By following the protagonist, readers may learn what he learns, but they can also keep distance enough to critique what he comes to understand and thereby achieve a richer understanding of themselves.
The protagonist in question is a Jewish American, originally designated almost Kafka-style as M but now renamed as Mel; we follow his Italian American and Italian-related experiences and connections in the course of his life from his early teens to his old age. The book opens with an introduction by a famous Italian critic, Alessandro Carrera. Then comes an invocation—a Jewish awakening to Italian foods, performers, and their like. The core is composed of four parts involving twelve texts, and then a double coda—all materials joining together to cover early loves, travels with an Italian American wife, and then subsequent Italian-American romances and encounters in Italy. With reflections on Jewish-Italian relations, and depictions of key Italian cities and towns, the book includes some of the paradoxes in Italian and Italian American life, as well as the author’s concerns with Italy’s Fascist period, the Holocaust, the mafia, afro-phobia, and recent turns of Italian politics. The text concludes with a double coda, portraying Mel and his three successive wives in a series of demonstrations political and otherwise, as well as a final fantasy of being old and virtually hapless in Rome.

Alternate Titles: Dazed: A Lost Traveler and his Italian Days (or Ways) Or: Lost: A Traveler’s Gaze at Italian Ways (or Days) Read more »

Lines on the Border

Lines on the Border presents twenty short stories dealing with the life and evolution of the protagonist, Ben, a young and confused California-based Jewish American professor, through his interactions with a growing cast of friends, lovers, and family members on and beyond the San Diego-Tijuana border..
Part I, “First Crossings,” presents early visits and relations, mainly dealing with Ben’s troubled first marriage; Part II, “Love & Loss on the Border and Beyond,” mainly deals with Ben’s post-marital searches for love on both sides of the border and further south.
Part II, Two Farewells, deals with Ben’s parents and new Latino friends and the circumstances that cause him to leave the border area. Perfect for fiction lovers and those interested in border themes Read more »

Between The Walls of Time

Cyrus Kohler, a former Army Ranger and Vietnam Veteran, now a Professor of Philosophy, forms an organization known as The Front. Through a series of lectures that go viral he gradually establishes The Front as a third major political party. Exposing the broken Process, genetics, evolution and territoriality of the political class, bThe Front, by book’s end, have 42 million members. Social Congruence and The Doctrine of Limited Rights define our society and its tribal participants. Historical Fiction/Political Read more »

The War To End All Wars

The War to End All Wars juxtaposes the great global catastrophe of the First World War with its effect on a rural Oklahoma community. The novel is loosely based on actual events during the spring and summer of 1917 that culminated in a delusional spasm of defiance known as the Green Corn Rebellion.
The War to End All Wars captures the tone of this time and place through a variety of characters, chief among them the members of the Mabry family. Hard-working and principled, torn by competing loyalties and buffeted by events and circumstances beyond their control, the Mabrys are drawn into the heart of the conflict Read more »

Railhead by Guy Franks

Ronald Reagan in the Old West. It seems like a natural fit—he did, after all, star in a number of Hollywood westerns. But more than that, the Reagan story reads like a western. He was a plain-speaking man who came into town and took on the bad guys, rallied the townspeople, got shot, triumphed over adversity, and turned around the fortunes of the town. To conservatives and fans of Reagan, parts of his story have already become legend, and in this novel I have set out to mythologize that legend using the Old West as the backdrop Read more »