In SKYLINE: TALES OF MANHATTAN, award-winning playwright and author William Ivor Fowkes presents stories of New Yorkers—gay, straight, and confused—making startling connections and discoveries. On the West Side, a man approaching his 60th birthday tries a new haircut, with disastrous consequences. On the East Side, a Park Avenue Republican gets a taste of life on the "down low" in Central Park. In the East Village, a struggling writer papers his kitchen wall with rejection letters. In SoHo, a graphic designer takes drastic steps to get the attention of her editor. At MOMA, a woman physically attacks a man examining a sculpture she doesn't like. Downtown, a transplanted New Orleans cabaret singer deals with life and love in the aftermath of 9/11. There are 19 stories in all—enough to demonstrate that Manhattan's residents are just as striking as the city's celebrated skyline.
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Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies. His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age. Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away … to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong?
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The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.
Alluding to the opera form, the novel opens with an Overture, a hymn that leads into Act I. Scene 1 begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm.
Each Scene that follows is narrated alternately by one of the four members of the Dolci Quattro. As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter.
Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, as the novel proceeds from Act I to Act II, Act III, Intermezzo, and Act IV, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future.
A black colt is born into an exciting and dangerous world. Will his parents be able to protect him from becoming a victim?
The wild mustangs encourage and protect each other, but what will happen when the man and his tame horse show up? Can the mustangs save themselves or will they be forced to abandon all they've ever known?
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... That night, Snake became anxious and began to fuss in his stall. He was very uneasy and felt the need to get out immediately. Confused, he began to kick violently at the enclosure. The other animals in the barn reacted to the noise and there was a flurry of activity among them as well.
The walls of the stalls were solidly built and did not give in to the force of his thrusting legs. He didn't know why, but he knew he had to get out. Stepping back for a moment, he eyed the door through which he had entered the stall. Somehow, he knew that it was his only chance of escape. Moving forward with great force, he slammed his broad chest into the door. The force of the hit stung and he heard a small snap! The door did not move. Backing up, he charged at the door again and hit it squarely with his chest, ignoring the pain. There was a sharp cracking sound from the sturdy wood and the other animals in the barn expressed their objections to the commotion, becoming increasingly upset. The chickens, which had been calmly dozing in the aisle, scurried outside to avoid the noise. Many of the other horses craned their necks over their own doors to try to determine exactly what was happening.
Snake again lunged at the door and made solid contact with his shoulder, producing more damage to the hardware holding it in place. Turning around quickly, he gave a mighty kick with his rear legs and one of the hinges actually popped off, flew across the aisle, and hit the stone wall on the other side with a shrill ping before falling to the earthen floor.
He stopped, breathing heavily. After a moment, he rammed the door again and there was an enormous crunch as the door broke away from its frame and landed with a thud on the floor. Still not even knowing why he felt the need to escape, he just stood there, looking at his handiwork. Once his breathing had returned to a normal rate, he quietly stepped past the battered door and into the aisle. Looking to his right, he saw the darkness outside and trotted to the main doorway. The rest of the horses watched in curious wonder as he exited the barn and disappeared into the night.
The Road from Money takes you on a journey to the small town of Money, Mississippi; just after the turn of the 20th century. It is the story of Estella Reynolds, a young Negro girl, growing up in America’s deep South. You follow her life as she faces racism, segregation, exploitation, brutality and poverty. You watch as she finds the joy of family life, battles to get a good education, finds her first love and above all tries to figure out why things are the way they are. You enter a time after World War I and before the start of World War II. A time when automobiles were new and planes had just taken to the sky. The story is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, a flood, Prohibition; and a time when Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were President. The story also highlights the strengths of a people and many of America's weaknesses.
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Excerpt from The Road from Money
Author, Sylvester Boyd Jr.
He Shot Her!
Estella was shocked for the second time that day. How could this happen? And why? It was always the same answer....because the South was just that way. So what if it was just another Negro dead in the South. Once again, tears streamed down her face, as her grandfather and brother boarded the wagon. In silence, Paul turned the wagon around, and together the family rode on back to Money. The only sound came from Julia, who kept sighing, “Why, dear Lord? Why?”
Four days later it happened to be Sunday. It was also going to be the day of Mandy’s funeral. Paul had taken his sister’s body to the undertaker the night she was shot. Now the family dressed and ate quietly. Julia stood at the kitchen window, looking out to see a grey cloudy sky, “Sometimes I think some people have no feelings,” she said in a soft voice.
Paul answered, “They can take someone’s life, like it ain’t nothin’!”
“Lord have mercy....when will all this stop,” Julia asked with tears in her eyes. Estella knew there was nothing else to say.
“Y’all better be getting ready; Reverend Lockwood goin’ to start the service early today,” Paul told them.
As the family rode to the church, Estella continued to think about how Mandy had been killed. As the family filed into the church, Paul added, “I don’t want to go in...but I got to.”
Standing at the coffin, Julia said, “She look so peaceful.”
A few minutes later everyone took a seat in the pews near the front of the church, as Reverend Lockwood walked past the coffin and up to the pulpit, saying, “Let the service begin.” Everyone was shocked—there was a big smile on his face.
“I know you think this smile on my face is out of place on such a sad day. But today is not a day to be sad. It is a day to be glad. Our Sister Mandy is at peace. I am smiling because she ain’t goin’ to pick cotton in the hot sun no mo! She ain’t goin to be disrespected no mo! She ain’t goin’ to be poor no mo! She ain’t goin to say ...yes ma’am and yes sir, no mo because of the color of someone’s skin no mo! She ain’t goin’ to see no mo Negroes hanging from a tree! If only our world would be a place of peace, love, respect, and understanding. ‘cause Sister Mandy is in a place of peace and love!”
Everyone nodded, knowing the reverend was right, and suddenly Paul and his family felt at peace too. The reverend motioned for the choir to sing another hymn as the coffin was carried out the church’s front doors and to the small cemetery behind the church. As the four men gently lowered the coffin into the ground, the reverend said a prayer. Just as he finished, the sun came from behind the clouds, filling the sky with light. Pointing to the sky, Reverend Lockwood said, “Sister Mandy just got a new home!”
Negative Space is what’s left looking for love in all the wrong places. When her husband dies of cancer just days after 9/11, her world is devastated. She soon finds herself entangled with three very different people -- a younger man, an older man, and a younger woman -- and embarks on a journey of obsession and intimacy.
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Negative spaces share edges. Thus the composition begins. Thus the corruption. Now I am willing to commit sin. Aloneness does that to you. Conscience is dimmed. Questions and suspicions circle, all moving fast and starting with why. Tears grip my gut. I want 2 b heard,sound thick,say things alarming & offensive.I do not want to sound like anybody else. I roll my joints on the glossy cover of The Complete Works and Selected Letters of Rimbaud. I cling to therapy. She tells me be optimistic but not hopeful. Hope is too specific
The “Fab Four” consists of the four prettiest and most popular girls in school. Eva Daniels is the leader and the meanest, yet everyone worships the ground she walks on. Sandra Reaux is the most stylish and stands out because of her exotic looks. Alicia Taylor is the tough girl, still in her tomboy stage. Maryam Moore is intelligent and reserved. When showstopper Milan Johnson transfers to Regal Middle School, it doesn’t take the Fab Four long to realize that Milan has everything they all have; and then some. Eva recruits Milan for her own selfish reasons. Little does she know Milan has her own agenda and thanks to her secret alliance, who has inside information on Eva, the “Fab Four” will soon be a thing of the past.
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This is a story about a young girl who grows up in abject poverty in Taishan, China and follows her journey to the sunny isle of Trinidad in the West Indies where the life she envisaged for herself does not quite materialise. However, she takes matters into her own hands and becomes mistress of her own destiny to rise above the poverty that blighted her childhood.
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In this homage to Jack London we have a 19th century Darwinian tale of the struggle for survival by a man and a wolf marooned on Zarembo Island. Situated in the panhandle of Alaska, Zarembo is an uninhabited island graced with a hideous cold, rainy climate, rugged terrain and insanely dense forest. This malevolent isle is no place anyone would wish to live, but this account explores man’s ability to regress to the stone-age conditions of Zarembo.
This story is an atavistic yarn revolving around the relationship between a man, sentenced to five years of penal servitude in the green hell of southeast Alaska, and a badly injured black wolf expelled from his pack. Both man and wolf are confronted by the distinct possibility of starvation as they struggle to live under the cruel, indifferent gaze of Zarembo Island. These hereditary enemies are initially bent on killing each other, but when this fails, the man-wolf relationship evolves from mutual fear to tolerance and, finally, to dependence and, perhaps, even affection.
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What if the conspiracy theories revolving around pop stars and Satanic Illuminati cults were true? And the most absurdly farfetched ones at that?" Say hi to Deon "Kasino" Brooks, a broke, hip-hop hopeful who is demolishing competitors throughout the California freestyle battle circuit. After an embarrassed opponent makes an attempt on Deon's life but instead gets his head shot off by the young rapper in self-defense; an event that was filmed by his best friend/wanna-be manager Trife and posted on YouTube, Deon becomes an overnight internet sensation~ and ~subject of questioning in a Sacramento PD interrogation room. Meanwhile, Trife responds to an email from Atlanta based big shot pop music label Avarice Records that will transform them to become the entertainment industry's darlings. At a cost only one of them is willing to pay. As he fights to hold onto his identity that the Illuminati is peeling away through black mail, Deon makes an odd acquaintance that offers him a way out of the lifelong dream turned nightmare-which may rob him of what's left of his sanity. Having been betrayed by everyone close to him and without anyone else to turn to, Deon accepts the strangers' proposal, thus finding friendship with a gang of ethereal anarchists and together they turn the planet upside down. See a world of glitz, glamour, drugs, groupies, exploitation, reptilian shape-shifters, death cult sacrifices, ghosts, demons, and undead hacktivists through Deon's eyes. Sinsane Asylum is a dark urban satire that pulls no punches as it mocks –everything- from ancient mythology, conspiracy theories to our modern life.
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