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Literary 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 »

Borderland Punk

Gussy Barthe is a teenager living in the middle of nowhere. It’s 1999, the Y2Kamikaze looms in the distance. Gussy is obsessed with punk and the gutter lifestyle. School starts in three weeks and Gussy is trying to get into as much trouble as possible before summer freedom ends and the world descends into chaos Read more »

“Life Ran Through Me”

Aloneness, Frank’s greatest lifelong fear, has now taken its most frightening form. Diagnosed with the onset of dementia, he has attempted to commit suicide. Being on the autism spectrum, he has a bent for thinking outside the box. Under the supervision of a therapist, he unfolds, in a ‘stream of consciousness’ type of narrative, his philosophical map on life, mostly in allegories and allusions (borrowing several concepts from math and science). He does not shy away from presenting his own explanation of Zeno’s paradox nor from stating his opinion on what God is (as a spectrum of 3 possibilities) 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 »

Carb-Free Living; A Diabetic’s Decade Long Success Story

The book opens by describing how I was told by my diabetic doctor that there were early signs of retinopathy forming in my eyes. This diagnosis could ultimately lead to me losing my eyesight. I was therefore compelled to look at ways in which I could improve my health beyond my doctor’s standard advice.
Through doing my own research, I found that there were huge benefits to be gained by following a low-carb diet, and that it could even prevent type 2 diabetes. I adopted this diet myself, and document my experiences and overall results in the decade that followed.
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