I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the time a dirty, smoggy, blue collar mill town. I received a BA and MA in American and British literature and creative writing. I served three years in the U.S. Army, in theory as a Russian linguist. Fortunately I never saw combat so I did not kill anyone and no one killed me, ha ha. Disillusioned by the material world and overly deluded, perhaps, by Jack Kerouac and similar dreamers, poets and madmen, I spent a good part of my life working in underpaid, dead-end, blue-collar jobs, most involving hard physical labor, mostly with illegal Mexican immigrants, an experience that has informed much of my work.
At the heart of my writing are humanity in all its sublime beauty and brutal ugliness (out of Faust’s dung heap flowers bloom), language, that wonderful “virus from outer space,” and, above all, passion, passion for life, for love and for words. My protagonists are outliers, underdogs, truth seekers, malcontents and the disenfranchised, in conflict with the status quo and the hierarchy of power. Existentialist, yes, often absurd, also dystopian, slapstick aplenty, pollyannas need not apply.
I have published five novels: Unbabbling (Dalkey Archive Press, 1996), Margarito and the Snowman (Dalkey Archive Press, 2016), Inflation (TageTage Press, 2019), The Ironsmith (TageTage Press, 2020) and Zol (TageTage Press, 2020).