In Search of My Lost Lives
In this story collection, comprising 40 brief, funny tales, Thomas Crockett travels time and space, searching for and finding former lives residing in the working-class streets of New York in the 1960s and 1970s. The stories range from humorous tales about family legends, the colorful Italian relatives with whom he was surrounded, to poignantly comic tales about his early trials during boyhood and adolescence, coming of age in a culture of noisy neighbors, insecure friends and unforgiving Catholic schools, to the wild, reckless, though laughable, psychedelic life of the early 1970s, to the hilarious adventures while hitchhiking afterwards. These are stories that aim to entertain, while shedding insight into the always unpredictable human condition.
On A Street Where Brooklyn Ends
The early 1960s in the row-house flats On a Street Where Brooklyn Ends is the setting of this novel, where we are introduced to a myriad of characters and voices. Chief among them is Joseph, conflicted by his sexuality, believing he is a girl trapped in a boy's body, forced to navigate his way through a world that condemns his impulses. He is but one of many among his family and neighbors who struggle to find understanding, acceptance and love during a changing, turbulent America. Rich in historical detail, the narrative highlights an empathy for those who suffer through no fault of their own.
The Great Matter Monologues
England,, 1527, King Henry seeks a divorce from his first wife, Katherine, who can't give him the male heir he desires, setting his eyes on the younger, more daring Anne Boleyn, triggering a complex, triangular exchange of personal narratives from the protagonists, who remain entwined for the ensuing nine years, each struggling in their pursuits of power, control and survival, ending in 1536 with Katherine's death and Anne's final miscarriage, sealing her fate and giving King Henry cause to seek yet another wife.
Thorns in a Realm of Roses
England, 1541. King Henry receives an anonymous letter suggesting that his fifth wife, the young Katherine Howard, whom he had called a rose without a thorn, may have led an unchaste life before they married. In the rose gardens of Hampton Court Palace, Henry feels the illusion of youth and virility slip away; he faces an uncertain future. Thorns in a Realm of Roses spans the final years in Henry’s reign. Peeling back the layers of life at Court, it examines the hearts and minds of Henry, his often misbegotten queens, neglected daughter Mary and his many loyal, though wary, advisors as they all struggle to survive in a world embroiled in political and religious upheaval ruled by a petulant King.
The Florentine Trinity
Rich in research, learning and imagination, The Florentine Trinity is a poetic history of late 15th Century Florence, Italy, told in the voices of people who lived that history: Lorenzo de' Medici, Girolamo Savonarola, and Niccolo Machiavelli. Written in the form of three separate, though intertwining, autobiographies, the novel offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of notable men--adding flesh to mythic bones of the Italian Renaissance--during a time when the salvation of man's mind and soul was tested to its limit, and the balance of life swayed with the fickle fortune of fate.
The Hitchhiking Journals
My collection of stories reflects a hitchhiking perspective unique to its time period, the 1970s. On a literal level, they are stories of travel. On a spiritual level, they are journeys of the soul. Mostly, though, they are stories of youth during a time markedly different than ours today, when traveling by thumb was an acceptable means of transportation for those seeking freedom on the vast and always winding road, replete with uncertainty, yet fascinating in the diversity of human behavior. Told with humor, insight and poignancy, the stories vary as much as hitchhiking from place to place, and meeting new people every day, varies. What is common to each of them, however, is the spiritedness of the traveler in search of adventure and meaning.
Hope Beyond All Hope: New York Stories
Here are twelve stories, told with poignancy and humor, reflecting life, both coming-of-age and adult, in New York in the 1960s. A mix of fiction and memoir, these stories root themselves in a working-class neighborhood, on the dividing line between East New York, Brooklyn and Ozone Park, Queens, in the years between 1962 and 1969. At the perimeter of the stories is the all-consuming environment that “shapes lives regardless.” At the core are the lives, the people, who populate this world. It is their stories that hold front and center within the pages of this book. Collectively, the stories celebrate a time and place, a culture, and a spectrum of people who, in their smallness, reveal something larger than themselves: the human struggle for survival and meaning.
Teaching Drama: Fundamentals and Beyond
I have written a comprehensive guide to teaching and performing drama. Rich in detail, description, and explanation of day-to-day exercises, improvisations, activities, and lessons, this book will enrich and encourage any novice or experienced teacher, professional, or student. While the basis of the book centers on drama techniques in the classroom, it achieves much more in terms of providing ideas and instruction for developing more engaging, expressive communication skills for any learner, at any age.
A Night With Sambino
The protagonist, Jimmy Mullan, a history teacher living in California, returns in 1997 to his City Line/Brooklyn neighborhood. Upon meeting a man named Sambino, he receives an unexpected history lesson about himself as the two men converse in a bar, forcing Jimmy to travel back to the pivotal summer of 1972, when a series of incidents--the last involving Sambino--shaped his life to come. Set in alternating time periods twenty five years apart, A Night with Sambino unravels layer by layer the undercurrents of these men's lives, both separately, and in relation to one another.