by Arthur Dean
($19.95, paperback, 280 pages, with 8 black and white photographs)
Artie Dean, that spiritually energized master of poignant pathos, once again weaves an eclectic collection of spellbinding short stories that will have you reading so late into the night you’ll probably miss minyan!
With a galaxy of engaging, globetrotting characters tugging at your heart and soul and surprising us with more twists and turns than a chally roll this eagerly awaited encore volume firmly establishes Dr. Dean as an insightful, gifted, accomplished author of note.
So, look into its mirrored pages and if you’re not afraid to see yourself you will surely recognize the pain, the struggle and the heartbreak and yet ultimately the love, the truth and the triumph of self-discovery. For in these pages you will find freedom, wisdom and beauty!
And if any of these stories send you on the road to heaven you’ll have one hell of a good time getting there! Enjoy!
—Country Yossi Toiv, Jewish composer, singer, radio show host, author, and magazine publisher.
Great short story writers have terrific imaginations and laser focus. They shape each story so that it is a perfect gem. And they often anchor their tales in personal experiences that are easily recognized by their readers. Artie Dean deserves the moniker!
—Jerry Fischer, Executive Director Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut.
This is my second collection of short stories to be published by Little Red Tree Publishing. Gleaned from my biweekly column, “My Two Cents,” in the Jewish Leader, a local newspaper in Southeastern Connecticut, these pieces were originally presented in serial form over several months. The first collection, also titled, My Two Cents, contained numerous short stories and essays. This collection includes several longer pieces.
Some years ago one of my readers approached my youngest son, during the time the Moishe Rappinsky stories were being published. “I like when your father writes about himself instead of making up stories,” he told my son.
To which my son replied. “All the stories are about him.”
I suppose in many respects they are. Many of the characters have doubts about the choices they’ve made in their lives. They struggle with family relationships and with religion. They regret their past. Fathers struggle to mend relationships with their children. Children rebel and then seek reconciliation with their fathers. While all of the stories here are pure fiction, I admit the characters they portray may have germinated from seeds in my own life.
The “Adventures of Moishe Rappinsky,” chronicles a middle-aged man’s trials and tribulations as he tries to keep his family together. When his daughter falls in love with a handsome Italian during a year in Florence, Moishe frets that his only child will turn her back on her Jewish traditions. Set in Brooklyn, Florence, and Jerusalem, amidst the threat of terrorism, Moishe struggles to reconcile the family’s differences. Like the Cyclone of Moishe’s youth on the Coney Island boardwalk, be prepared for the twists and turns of a wild ride.
The “Library of Unfulfilled Wishes” weaves a tale of courage and perseverance when a father searches for the cure to his daughter’s illness. “A Thanksgiving to Remember” chronicles a young man’s fight for survival when a simple bus ride home from college goes horribly wrong. “Passover Confrontation” illustrates a parent’s worst nightmare when an impulsive college student makes poor choices with deadly consequences. “The Missing Suitcase” brings a son and his estranged father to Vienna to solve a mystery set in motion during the Nazi rise to power. “Intrigue on the Thames,” set in New London, Connecticut, and Southeast Asia, reminds us of the debt we owe our Vietnam Veterans.
This collection features many characters who happen to be Jewish, but I believe their struggle to find meaning in their lives is universal.
Waterford, CT, 2017