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Striking Through The Masks

A Literary Memoir

By Morton Marcus

From his family background in the world of Brooklyn’s Jewish gangsters to his early years in a succession of boarding schools, and from the rough streets of New York City in the 1940s to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the 1960s, poet Morton Marcus tells the story of his growth from embattled youth to uneasy adulthood. Filled with a rogues gallery of colorful characters and innumerable anecdotes, as well as descriptions of his unconventional travels in Greece, Australia, Tahiti, Croatia and the Czech Republic, Striking Through the Masks conjures up the last half of the twentieth century and the opening years of the new millennium. While recounting his own struggle to find self-awareness and wisdom, Marcus vividly describes his life and times through intimate portraits of notable people he has known. In vignette after vignette, he strikes through the public masks of President Richard Nixon, Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, composer Lou Harrison, short story writer Raymond Carver, United States Poet laureate Charles Simic and many others to glimpse private moments that show tell-tale aspects of their personalities.

“ Simply put, you've taken on memory with the same passion with which you've taken on life. The sheer, wild vastness of this project blows me away…. You've laid down some tracks for the rest of us to walk in, and you've recovered some details many of us had forgotten…. This book is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Al Young,
Poet Laureate of California

The Author

The late Morton Marcus is the author of ten volumes of poetry and one novel, including The Santa Cruz Mountain Poems, Pages From A Scrapbook of Immigrants and recently Moments Without Names: New & Selected Prose Poems and Shouting Down The Silence: Verse Poems 1988-2001. In 2007, he published a new volume of prose poems, Pursuing The Dream Bone. He has had more than 450 poems published in literary journals, his work has been selected to appear in over 90 anthologies, and he has read his poems and taught creative writing workshops at universities throughout the nation and Europe. Marcus taught English and film at Cabrillo College for 30 years before his retirement in 1998. In 1999, he was selected tobe Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year, and in 2007 he was a recipient of a Gail Rich Award for his contributions to Santa Cruz culture. For 22 years, he has been the co-host of The Poetry Show, the longest running poetry radio program in the nation. A film historian and critic as well as poet, his reviews appear regularly in West Coast newspapers, and for the past nine years he has been the co-host of a television film review show called Cinema Scene, which broadcasts in the San Francisco Bay area and on the pod (Cinema Scene.Org). For more than eighteen years, he has served on the steering committee of the Pacific Rim Film Festival, and he has taken part in panel discussions on literature and film at the John Steinbeck Center.
His website is www.mortonmarcus.com.


Book Title: Striking Through the Mask
Publication Date: March, 2008
Length: 589 pages

Soft Cover
ISBN – 10: 0-932319-09-2
ISBN – 13: 978-0-932319-09-8

List Price: $ 18.95

Special website price - $15.00 with free shipping!

Hard Cover
ISBN – 10: 0-932319-08-4
ISBN - 13: 978-0-932319-08-1

List Price: $ 29.95

Special website price - $25.00 with free shipping!