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Mark Morganstern Reads from His New Book

November 29, 2015
3:00 PM


In this collection of fourteen stories — mostly set among working folks in the Hudson River Valley of New York — music, food, philosophy, and magic weave through tales that are by turns gritty, aching, and comical. Characters grapple with unfulfilled dreams in a dizzying, often alien culture. Meet a Bronx Italian Zen master with a baby and an ex-football-star partner… a young curator assigned to coddle an infamous avant-garde artist whose assistant threatens her marriage… a Homer scholar who disappears in a blizzard over a stone wall, never to be seen again… a failed graduate student who nearly gets paralyzed delivering a case of gourmet cat food to his Heidegger professor to settle a vague psychic debt… a reincarnating Ancient Egyptian chef who travels thousands of years from the banks of the Nile to a surf-crazed town in Southern California to open a bakery… and others. All are drawn with empathy and wry humor, observed through a sharp lens as they wrestle and waltz with the blunt challenge of being human… Dancing with Dasein.

Mark Morganstern left a budding music career behind when he realized he didn’t want to play weddings in a cover band. He parlayed a long-term literary interest into an MA in Creative Writing from the City University of New York, subsequently adjuncting in a college, subbing in a high school, and booking music acts in his family cafe. When off duty, he writes, submits, files rejections, and even gets published. He believes in fiction.

The book can be ordered by clicking on the photo.

“‘Of all the tofu joints in the world, he’d walked into mine.’ Morganstern’s funny, sad, exceedingly human stories set in the Hudson Valley and their portrayals of our foibles, vanities and dreams, nascent and crushed, bring to mind such classic regionals as Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Salinger’s Upper West Side, and Trollope’s Barsetshire. Dancing with Dasein will make you want to live in a place like Rosendale, New York, or stay as far away as humanly possible.” –Jennifer Belle, best-selling author of ‘High Maintenance’ and ‘The Seven Year Bitch’

“Mark Morganstern has an original voice and every story displays his great talent. The stories are original and quirky-and very enjoyable.” –Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of ‘Sleeping Arrangements’

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