In this volume of The Practice and Other Stories, a collection of short stories and selected poems, I tried to write with some satiric wit and Jewish humor about working-class New York characters that I had observed during my growing- up years in Brooklyn from the 1950’s to 1970’s. I have been greatly influenced by the movies and I try to turn a satiric camera eye on the details of every day life.
This collection of five short stories and 4 poems represents my continued appreciation for the short story format. Blind Man is the result of my child hood recollections of being forced to visit with various family members in the exotic (to me) borough of the Bronx. It is a story of starry eyed youth on the threshold of lost innocence and the discovery, for better or worse, of a much wider world. The Visit is a story about enduring family bonds despite conflicting world views and value systems. The Practice, which was first published in the Jewish Digest January, 1971, is a story about the confluence of mysticism, superstition and science in the life of a Brighton Beach family doctor whose old world clients see him as more of a shaman than a physician. The Fundraiser is a story about an older working man caught between his need to earn a living in a profession he has come to detest and the realization that he needs to find a better way of life. Coney Island Limey is a story based loosely on the real life antics of an eccentric chap from Liverpool who sneaks into America under rather dubious circumstances and who then tries to ingratiate himself into the good graces of a rather naïve Brooklyn family of misfits in hopes of wedding their beautiful if somewhat clueless daughter. The four poems are included in this collection because they are four of my personal favorites.
In addition to several years working in sales for Rizzoli Editore, Prudential, and John Hancock, I also worked at various times a public relations consultant for various business and non-profit clients as well as a public relations consultant and writer for several governmental entities such Brooklyn Borough President Sebastian Leone and the New York State Consumer Protection Board during the administration of Gov. Hugh Carey. My resume also includes several stints in New York and New Jersey as a fundraiser for the Council of Jewish Federations and the United Jewish Appeal. After earning my MSW from Temple University, I went to work in the field of child welfare for both the New York City and City of Philadelphia Departments of Human Services.
During my undergraduate years at Hamilton College, I studied creative writing with Wallace Markfield (To An Early Grave, Teitlebaum’s Window) and with Alex Haley (Roots, The Autobiography of Malcolm X).Today, I make my home in Philadelphia where I continue to work and write.
As a callow youth of twenty, I dreamed of taking the literary world by storm. I was greatly influenced by the works of Mark Twain, O’Henry, Sholem Aleichem, Edgar Allen Poe, Bernard Malamud, Jack Kerouac, Mario Puzo, William Faulkner, Eugene O’Neil, William Saroyan, Philip Roth, William Shakespeare, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Wallace Markfield. I was equally moved by the poetry of such great poets as Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Shelly, Dylan Thomas, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire and Allen Ginsberg. Equally important to my development as a writer are the works of Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre, Andre Gide, Andre Malraux, and Eugene Ianesco. Cinematic influences include: David Lean; the French New Wave auteurs such as Jean Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut; the comedic geniuses of Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis, and Jacques Tati; the American masters such as Francis Ford Copolla, Martin Scorcese, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg.
With this collection of short stories and selected poems I may not have ta
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