Tales from the Dew Drop Inne" reads like a darkly humorous sitcom. The tone is both heartfelt and deliciously irreverent, showing that one does not need to hate humanity to appreciate the humor of life. Here are tales of drifters, alcoholics, religious renegades, veterans, and drag queens set in pub that is at once a confessional, a circus, and a psychiatric hospital.
--Marina Julia Neary, author of Martyrs & Traitors: a Tale of 1916
What is it like to work inside a state hospital or to be a patient in such a hospital? What is it like to live inside the mind of such a patient? This tragi-comedic novel takes the reader inside the asylum, inside the worlds of three central characters: a narrator who has taken refuge from his fears of the world, a psychiatrist whose own life has been damaged by his father's depression, and a catatonic schizophrenic whose world is trapped inside a crack in the wall opposite her bed. This is the interwoven story of their lives, a story that includes love, sexuality, violence, deaths, celebrations, circuses, and surprising twists. As the plot unwinds, the reader learns a great deal about the nature of futility, frustration, and freedom.
Mary Flanagan, caught between her sense of religion and obligation on one hand, and her very human desire for love on the other, is in emotional limbo. When she meets Arnie Berger, who becomes both her lover and philosophic guide, Mary's world seems to be transformed.Changes also come for Mary's children, who have been trapped in their own dilemmas. Sean, a quadriplegic, is looking for a fulfilled life. Kathleen must cope with infertility and anger in her search for happiness. The lives of all three Flanagans are turned upside down by happiness and tragedy.
Songs For My Father is an anthology of poems, short stories, essays, and plays. The material is arranged to reflect the basic periods of life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and seniority. It amusingly follows Kenneth Weene through his life as a child, adolescent, into early adulthood and on to being a father and finally a grandfather. Each genre of work reaches out to touch those looking back on their lives, while lacing history interestingly throughout. It not only is for those looking back, but, with effective poetry and humor, gives those just starting the adult lifecycle, foresight into what may lay ahead.