My novels Half Moon, Gloryville, The Dogs of Arroyo , City of Gracious Living and Rip (written in that order) have these things in common: A surreal sensibility, a quest for beauty and truth, and a questioning — about the existence of evil, about the nature of love, about the blurred line between the real and unreal.

My novels — thematically and stylistically — have been compared to Kurt Vonnegut and E.L. Doctorow. I’d throw in Pyncheon, Auster, Hawthorne, Chabon, Marquez, Kafka, Kerouac and T.C. Boyle. Not that I’m necessarily as good as them, but that their influence or shared interests are evident in my own writing.

Click on the tabs in the drop menu and you’ll find excerpts from all five novels.

I have always thought a writer’s reading — especially the books read in one’s earlier years — is an important barometer of his or her writing. A few years ago, a group of friends and I listed our favorite/more influential books.

My list:
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury), Cat’s Cradle (Vonnegut), Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut), Huckleberry Finn (Twain), Ragtime (Doctorow), Dharma Bums (Kerouac), One Hundred Years of Solitude (Marquez), The Trial (Kafka), USA (Dos Passos), Paterson (W.C. Williams), Kaddish (Allen Ginsberg), Leaves of Grass (Whitman), Three Men In a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome), North of Boston (Robert Frost), Circus of the Sun (Robert Lax), Up in the Old Hotel (Joseph Mitchell), Walden, Collected Poems (Emily Dickinson) My Life and Hard Times (Thurber), The Bible (King James version), A Human Comedy (Saroyan), Tortilla Flat/Cannery Row (Steinbeck), Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Doyle), A Christmas Carol (Dickens), History of Yonkers, New York (Allison), The Sketch Book (Washington Irving), Main Currents in American Thought (Parrington), From Ritual to Romance (Weston), Book of Dreams (Kerouac), The Seven Storey Mountain (Thomas Merton), Fables (Robert Lax), Book of Friends (Henry Miller), Tickets for a Prayer Wheel and Holy the Firm (Annie Dillard), Tales (Poe), The World of Washington Irving (and others in the series by Van Wyck Brooks).

Finally a status report: City of Gracious Living is in the hands of my agent, Michele Rubin at Writers House in NYC; Rip and The Dogs of Arroyo will be published this fall by Black Angel Press; excerpts from Half Moon have been published in several literary magazines and web sites; Gloryville remains an undiscovered treasure.


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