wos    Ali Melek helps people with problems: foreigners with visa troubles trying to find work, students who  want to study abroad, families looking for runaway children, businesses trying to circumvent the  bureaucratic maze of government restrictions. One day he’s asked by his older brother to help a  Chinese lawyer from Shanghai to find her missing younger sister who disappeared in Istanbul after  answering an ad for work. Since he suspects the younger sister might be a victim of human trafficking,  he enlists the aid of his dead father’s best friend, a retired smuggler named The Greek, to help him  because he still has connections in the underworld. The Greek, who lives with Irina, a former Russian  prostitute he rescued from the sex industry, out of familial loyalty reluctantly returns to the world he    left behind and begins asking questions of members of the Russian, Turkish, and Kurds gangs. Before it’s  over, the loyalties of all the friendships and family ties will be severely tested and blood will flow.
The novel is not only a mystery about a search for a missing girl but also about the bonds within  families (the Meleks, the Russian, Turkish, and Kurdish gangs) and among friends and lovers that hold  people together but can, at times, drive them apart. It is ultimately about Ali discovering what has  value in his relationships and about The Greek’s attempts to escape the sins of his past.

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rizzo Rizzo’s World has as its protagonist a jaded New York journalist with a whiskey problem, a 20 year old daughter he hardly knows who lives with his estranged wife in Istanbul, and a dead best friend murdered in Turkey. In his attempt to find out why his friend was killed, he begins to learn what it is to be a father and maybe even win back his wife.

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Istanbul Days, Istanbul Nights is a retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo & Juliet set in modern day Istanbul with a cast of Turkish, American, and British characters fumbling their way toward and, in most cases, through the various phases of romantic involvement. The setting is an arts college in Istanbul where Michael, the theatre department head, decides to stage a bi-lingual adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. He decides, though, to give it a happy ending and as people become more involved in the play, they also become more involved with each other and romance blooms both off stage and on.

Love is the theme in all its forms: old, young, straight, gay, even supernatural. And happiness, that elusive holy grail we all chase, lights the lives of all in ways often unexpected. But in modern times, in this city straddling two continents with a host of international players, happiness isn’t quite so easy to attain.

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Wooing Wu is a classic love story. First, mix one poet/teacher in his forties, twice divorced, and gun shy when it comes to commitment and then add a beautiful Chinese immigrant. Throw in cultural differences, false hopes, and misunderstandings, add the usual assortment of friends, whiskey, steamed flounder, and a night of karaoke and you have a New York love story like no other.

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Night & Day is a crazy retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set among a group of passionate immigrant New Yorkers

There are no car chases, bombings, or blood shed, unless you consider the broken hearts, but there is a lot of confusion, some changing of partners, and love, both consumed and unrequited.

Though Shakespeare’s comedy had a happy ending where all pairs of lovers were blissfully joined, in some cases, with the help of a magic potion, here no such potion exists.

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harryHarry Mancuso finds himself facing trouble at the college where he works, trouble with a stalled writing career, trouble with his first ex-wife, and trouble with his daughter at home. All these troubles and the week has just begun.


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5 thoughts on “Books

  1. Your poems are short and sweet yet they speak volumes had no idea you wrote books too. Tipping my hat to you sir! 🙂

    As I contemplate switching careers I’ve been pondering a degree in Creative Writing . I’m already 40 so not sure I’m interested in going as far as a Masters but can you tell me more of what that line of study entails?

    Hope you don’t mind me asking… 🙂


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