Every Story is a Love Story

      John Moncure Wetterau / History & Fiction
Every Story is a Love Story

A beautifully written story of first love and discovery. Patrick, an army brat, and Willow, a musician from an academic family, drift separately into Woodstock, N.Y. in the early sixties. The characters include Bob Dylan and Joe Burke, of "Joe Burke's Last Stand," Wetterau's first novel. The author says, "It was an exiting time in an exciting place. I'm not Joe Burke, but I was there."When a society is wounded, it hemorrhages artists. In the early 1960's, young people searching for a more open way of life were drawn to Woodstock, New York. Musicians, painters, architects, writers, arrived from all over the country every week.Patrick is an army brat, well-traveled, self-educated, an intense reader, interested in everything. He hitch hikes into Woodstock and finds a job house painting with a crew of creative mavericks. He has been told by his father to look up an old friend who lives in town.Willow and her friend, Amber, are exploring on summer break from Stanford University. Willow and Patrick meet in the "Depresso," the cafe where Bob Dylan often hangs out. Willow's father is a music professor who has friendly arguments with her about Dylan; she claims that he has written an American masterpiece, Desolation Row. As the summer goes on, Patrick and Willow become close. Patrick's connection in town, Heidi Merrill, turns out to be keeping an old secret with his father.The novel is beautifully written. In telling the story of first love, it also presents the best picture yet of that exciting, sad, and tender time in the United States. Patrick's discoveries about art and science, about truth, are universal. If you like "The Great Gatsby," you will enjoy "Every Story is a Love Story," one of the rare short novels that belongs on the same shelf.
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    Parting

      John Moncure Wetterau / History & Fiction
Parting

Many new poems and selections from three full length collections make this an excellent introduction to the author. There is something for everyone in this book. The clear open poems have a glow that seems to strengthen on re-reading. The settings are mostly in Maine, Hawaii, India, and Thailand.New and selected poems make an excellent introduction to a fine American poet.Dixieland piano late at night in a pine woods … an elderly woman's blue dress … a postal clerk dispensing stamps, packaging, and devotion … a ring and a prayer thrown into the River Ping … a Thai lover on the back of a Honda 125 … a man singing in a sidewalk machine shop … an unexpected death …The author's recent poems were written in Maine, Thailand, and Australia. They continue and extend the work in his three full length collections (each generously sampled here). The author uses simple words, usually beginning with a description, moving as he writes toward deeper understanding of the subject. "Every poem is a battle against style," he has said, "not to repeat yourself, to let the subject speak with its own voice." There is something for everyone in this book. The clear open poems have a glow that strengthens on re-reading. A treat for poetry lovers.
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    Michelangelo's Shoulder

      John Moncure Wetterau / History & Fiction
Michelangelo's Shoulder

"The line across her eyebrows and tapering along her jaw was right. He'd left out a lot, but that didn't matter. If what was there was true enough, you knew the rest---like a Michelangelo shoulder emerging from stone." Maine, Seattle, Hawaii, and India are the settings for these beautiful stories of late awakenings, integrity, and persistence.A retired CIA officer is confronted by his troubled son. A middle aged woman falls in love with a younger neighbor. An adolescent girl ventures outside her family and discovers injustice. An accomplished grandfather finds love for the first time. A radical environmentalist carries out a final mission. A solitary waitress finds her father. The stories range across the human and the physical landscape. Two lonely people connect on a dirt road in the Himalayas, dancing to Bob Marley. A financial manager in Seattle finds himself stalking a blind Christian street singer. A Chicago graphics designer leaves his job and begins a new life painting in Hawaii. Many of the stories take place on the coast of Maine.The author has published four novels and four collections of poetry. These short stories combine the compression and lyrical phrasing of his poems with the character development and the humor of his novels. Each story is its own exploration, original and vivid. This is a book to be savored and enjoyed.
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    O plus F

      John Moncure Wetterau / History & Fiction
O plus F

A solitary man in a diner on the coast of Maine. A tall beautiful stranger. A whip. A bronze heart. Hawaii. The Northwest ... How far will he go to face the truth about himself? ... This is a story about borders: between father and son, between sex and love, between life and death.Oliver Muni Prescott is a late bloomer, short, calm, and strong with a passion for life that hasn't found expression. His father, whom Oliver has never met, is Japanese. His mother, Italian, left the relationship when she was pregnant. A few years later in the United States, she married Owl Prescott who raised Oliver as his stepson.One winter morning, Oliver enters Becky's Diner in Portland, Maine, and sits next to a table taken by two women and two young girls. He can't take his eyes off the taller of the two women. She is Francesca, mother of two adopted girls from South America and married to a local businessman. Her friend, Jackie, notices Oliver and remembers him.Oliver eventually becomes involved with Jackie who schools him in sexual behavior that he'd heard of but never experienced. It is the beginning of his journey to maturity in sex and in love. A journey that takes him to the west coast and to Hawaii in search of his father. A short relationship with another woman results in an unexpected pregnancy. Oliver is plunged into deeper waters when he marries and then becomes involved with a younger woman at the hospital where he is employed as a computer programmer.As his complicated life is about to explode, Oliver is faced with desperate choices that will determine his future.The author has said that one of his goals in the book was to present sexuality from a male perspective. The sexual scenes are sensitive and explicit, unusually honest. Sex and love have overlapping borders. Oliver's path to love begins on the sexual side. The book is a delight to read, literary and erotic. The characters are fun to listen to; the settings are believable and vivid; and the lessons learned are universal.
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