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Lies to Live By

"Fred Misurella's collection of stories, Lies to Live By, tells the complex, and sometimes secret truth about what it is to be alive in these complicated times. The eight stories in this collection are deep in their understanding and widely varied in their subject matter. Misurella writes in the clearest, precise prose, and has as his special strength the joining of shining intelligence with deep emotion. Lies to Live By deserves a wide readership and serious attention."

--Kent Haruf, author of of Plainsong

"Any fan of storytelling will find much to admire in Fred Misurella's Lies to Live By. All of Misurella's finely drawn characters are 'crossing a bridge, preparing to pass through the doors of a new time zone.' Their journey from old-world neighborhoods into more modern times makes for delightful reading."
-- Rita Ciresi, author of Sometimes I Dream in Italian

"Fred Misurella, like Ben Morreale and Fred Gardaphe, is among the best of Italian-American male writers of fiction, the sort that our American culture should pay attention to as the tellers of the real stories of Italian-American life."
--Daniela Gioseffi, editor of Women on War

"What a pleasure to read this little novel by Fred Misurella! In it I recognize so much that I admire: sensitivity, a heart open to ordinary people who are vulnerable and weak. Weak before chance occurrences that give their own meaning and direction to events we (vainly) think we master."
--Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Table of Contents:

I. Money, Love, Art

"Parenting"
(A widowed father sees his diabetic daughter through the birth of her first child.)

"Relations"
(An Italian-American family survives on the edge of poverty through work and newspaper contests.)

"Body Lessons"
(A priest meets his famous actor brother now dying of AIDS.)

"Flames"
(A policewoman falls in love with a girl she saves from delinquency.)

"A Man of His Time"
(A reporter attends a friend's funeral in Paris before traveling to a war zone farther east.)
II. America
"Macho Maudit"
(Nick Potenza, a young Italian-American, falls in love with a girl whose parents disapprove of him and his family.)

"The Dragon Lady and the Soldier"
(Nick moves to the Midwest and meets a California girl as the Cuban Missile Crisis threatens to end the world.) (Click link on upper left of page to read the story.)

"Short Time"
(A divorced father now, Nick looks back on his tragic experience in Vietnam and tries to convey its horror to his daughter.)