Monday, September 8, 2014

My Literary Return to the Green Mountain State

I used to live in Vermont in another lifetime as a reporter for United Press International, covering state politics in Montpelier. Next week, after a two-decade career as a journalist, I head back to the Green Mountain State to build on my second career -- novelist.

I'll read from my novel The Opposite of Everything at Flying Pig Books, a quaint store in Shelburne, about 20 minutes south of Burlington. A homecoming, you might say. And I'll read alongside Rebecca Coffey, a Vermont humorist who's signing copies of her own comedic novel, Hysterical. Hope you'll join us there. If you think you can come, please RSVP to the Facebook event invite.

My novel, which took me thirteen years to write and nabbed a couple of awards this spring, is a comedic twist on my struggle with cancer and divorce. Interestingly, it's full of Jewish humor and I'll be reading from it in a book store with a decidedly non-Kosher name, "Flying Pig." The Yiddish word for non-Kosher is traif.

Here's the nutshell of my novel.  When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can't cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge. Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a plan to turn his life around: He’ll do the opposite of everything he did before. In the darkly comedic tradition of Philip Roth, THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING was named Top Literary Novel in the Somerset Fiction Awards.

About HYSTERICAL: Imagine growing up gay in a household where your world-renowned father calls lesbianism a gateway to mental illness. And it is always, he said, caused by the father and curable by analysis. Now imagine that he analyzes you. Liberally salted with the lowbrow humor that may have saved her sanity, HYSTERICAL: Anna Freud’s Story is the fact-based, fictional autobiography of Sigmund Freud’s funniest daughter. Booklist called HYSTERICAL “an avidly researched, shrewd, and unnerving first novel” that is “complexly entertaining, sexually dramatic, [and] acidly funny.”

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