Songsmith, Giraffe-whisperer, Ninja, Archeologist from Pluto and elsewhere, Model, Former Ambassador to Chad, Ice skating champion, part time Falconer and Chef. None of the above is true. My books speak for me. All else is commentary or speculation.
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The Revised Kama Sutra: New cover, dedication, epigraphs
My widely published (though not TOO widely published) novel, The Revised Kama Sutra, has a new cover on Amazon Kindle, etc. Here it is:
And here are the Dedication and Epigraphs, just to give you the sense in which the novel is a revision of the Kama Sutra:
To the late Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller, who
taught me that it is permissible to laugh at the once sacred, and that the
satirist’s religion is to have no sacred cows.
To Saul Bellow, who taught me to love words
brilliantly used, and whose lusty but brilliant male characters suggest a
possible symbiosis between sex and intelligence.
To the late Seymour Krim, a ballsy writer, for
believing in me, and inspiring me to put my all into this novel.
To Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin,
for inspiring me with their honesty and courage to stand up for the Invisible
To the late Henry Miller, for introducing me to the
laughter and joy of sex, while teaching me to despise and laugh at the
censorship of thought and language.
And finally, to the all-encompassing Goddess, the
Female Oneness, and her Cosmic Yoni, the Temple of Joy and the Source of
Existence, the English slang version of whose sacred name forms the last word
of this novel. I am sure you wouldn’t have minded sharing this space with her,
“Man, the period of whose life is one hundred years,
should practice dharma, artha, and kama at different times
and in such a manner that they may harmonise, and not clash in any way. He
should acquire learning in his childhood; in his youth and middle age he should
attend to artha and kama; and in his old age he should perform dharma,
and thus seek to gain moksha, that is, release from further
transmigration. Or, because of the uncertainty of life, he may practice them
at times when they are not enjoined to be practised.”
Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, circa Fourth Century A.D.
“Man, the most exquisite part of whose life is perhaps
ten or twenty years, should practice Kama as soon and for as long as is
biologically possible, and emigrate to America—where, according to Hollywood
movies and assorted Western novels, millions of insatiable and sexually
ravenous women await his arrival, ready to serve his pleasure, and theirs.”
— The Revised Kama Sutra, circa Twentieth
Much of politics and history, especially in the U.S., is about Us and Them. Us, the Good Guys, versus much of the Rest of the World: the Bad Guys. If you're with us, with moral as well as material and diplomatic support, you're also good guys (though not as good as us). If you're against us, or simply not with us, you're bad guys. And our mission is to bomb, starve, and sanction you into changing your mind.
Historian Mark David Ledbetter does not accept such a simplistic view of wold affairs. His study of history, contained in three works of towering research, America's Forgotten History: Parts 1-3, tells him that every nation, at some point in its history, has been guilty of genocide or war crimes. It just happens that different nations are at different points of development and engagement with the rest of the world, and therefore, we don't all behave and think the same.
But that's just one element of Ledbetter's new book, Dancing on the Edge of the W…
When I was in my late teens, I used to read Punch magazine, and one of my favorite writers was Alan Coren, who published a humor collection titled Golfing for Cats. It turned out that the book had nothing to do with either golfing or cats; but golfing and cats were the two hottest subjects on the bestseller list at that time, so he married the two and made up the title. (Alan Coren's book ended up doing quite well.)
My story is totally different. Neither cats, goats, nor Mahatma Gandhi are particularly hot at this moment (the Mahatma, if resurrected, would be horrified by Donald Trump and prefer to return to his grave), so the Alan Coren anecdote only partly explains the title of my new book: The Mahatma, the Goats, and Young Cats, all of which do occur in my collection of humor and satire, but are not its main subjects: this being a diverse humor collection ranging from Jesus to Ronald Reagan, from Indian politics to American nukes and deficits, from Adam and Eve to modern puber…
Three generations of fathers and sons come together in "Fathers and Sons, War and Love," which consists of 3 books in one bundle. The first book, "Eaten by the Japanese," is the World War II memoir of John Baptist Crasta, the father of Richard Crasta, who is an editor and minor co-author of his father's memoir, and the author of "Father, Rebel, Dreamer" and "Letters to My Sons." [June 2015 expanded edition.]
"Eaten by the Japanese," written by a recuperating John Baptist Crasta in 1946, was published by his son just two years before his father's death; the act of reading and publishing his 87-year-old father's almost forgotten memoir was a process of discovery and reconciliation for the son.
The second book consists of fictional and nonfictional reflections, essays, and humor loosely collected around the theme of "Father, Rebel, Dreamer."
The third book is a book of letters from a father to his sons: poignant…