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Save the Orangutans

Frannie Fortunato lives in her imagination and the memories of her youth in the Peace and Love
Generation. At one her nostalgic fetes, a friend introduces her to a gentleman caller, Leonard
Grunwald. Leonard is a driven single minded lawyer who has refrained from any kind of
whimsy. He is charmed by this person who embodies all that he has missed.
After a romantic courtship these two very different people get married. Leonard takes
charge and whisks Frannie away to a honeymoon in Italy. After traveling through Italy, the two
finally settle in Amalfi. Centuries before, The Duchess of Amalfi and her children were
murdered in a tower overlooking the town.
As the dust of romance begins to settle, Leonard begins to feel frustrated and disappointed
with Frannie. She begins chaffing under the strict rule of Leonard. Leonard begins unraveling
in this strange place he can’t control.

Time and Time Again: Hide the Sausage

The story is about unfinished business that people carry around, lifetime after lifetime, through multiple reincarnations. It opens at the deathbed of the Emperor Hadrian in 138 AD. It is comedic and poignant.

The Boundary Waters: A Quantum Opera

The Boundary Waters chronicles the unfolding and sometimes comic relationship between Raymona Washington Goldberg and Matthew Pierson. Raymona is an African American woman adopted as an infant by Jewish father and a German Catholic mother during a Freedom Ride in the 1960’s. She spends her time barricaded in her Upper East Side rent controlled apartment in New York City, afraid to be contaminated by the stories lurking in the most common circumstances. Matthew is a gay man who geographically lives in Minneapolis but psychically inhabits a world of romantic fantasies. Matthew distracts himself by recounting romantic stories in which he becomes entangled. Their phone conversations provide a hygienic boundary through which Raymona experiences the world and Matthew has an audience.

Their relationship takes a dramatic turn when Matthew entangles himself with three other gay men who are going to The Boundary Waters in Minnesota. One of the men is at the end stage of AIDS. Matthew is quite suddenly captured in an adventure in which wishful happy endings lose all meaning. Without Matthew’s stories droning on the phone, Raymona becomes desperate and ventures outside her apartment, taking an epic journey on the subway. There she begins to awaken to the complex and often heartbreaking stories of her ancestors. Not only does the boundary between Raymona and Matthew start shifting, but both characters begin exploring the carefully guarded boundaries in their own lives. Their stories interact in a kind of synchrony as they stumble through the comedy and tragedy of the human condition.


What happens to a child living in a conventional 1950’s suburb who has a secret life that is anything but conventional? How does Francis create a future when the present is so dangerous? Not only has he been violently sexually traumatized as a child, but he is also attracted to men in an era when homosexuality is morally and legally condemned. He faces a life of contempt and violence. He becomes a spy, someone who watches people and even his own life from a secret distance.

This novel follows the path that leads Francis from childhood, through adolescence in a Catholic seminary and finally into adulthood. There are no straight lines here and no easy answers. As Francis follows out this pathway with dead ends and detours he discovers almost by accident something real that wells up inside him that connects him to other people and life.

Big Business: A Fable

Big Business is a book about taking a chance, even by accident, and how that can initiate a journey beyond imagination. Mary Blu, 35 years old, tall and raw-boned, lives with Belinda, her pretty sister who lives in a world of fantasy. Their parents have just died. Mary who cares about everybody but herself lives a hesitant life, afraid of making mistakes. One morning entering her house after returning from her graveyard shift at a nursing home, Belinda jumps at her, waving a brochure about a New Age Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Belinda who doesn’t leave the house anymore desperately begs her sister to attend. Mary finally gives in because after all she is supposed to take care of her sister. Thus starts Mary’s adventure with all its possibilities, dangers and final idiosyncratic triumph.


This is a book about change, a renegotiating of self and the world. In early childhood we separate self from the world; there are two identities now. Either through ageing, trauma or insight we seek to renegotiate this boundary to be more connected and loving. This book is a quirky at times comic testimony to that creative transformation.

The Return of Mary Blu (A Sequel To Big Business)

What happens when your world collapses, not just the situation around you, but also your sense of who you are? What happens after mind busting trauma? Mary Blu arrives on that shore in a small apartment in downtown Minneapolis, reluctantly awakening to grief, insight, courage, comedy and even romance. She weaves these strands of experience together into the spiral of life.  

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