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LoCicero, Donald 1937-

LoCICERO, Donald 1937-

PERSONAL: Born November 14, 1937, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Peter and Nancy (Passanate) LoCicero; married Cecelia Molfetto, August 16, 1958; children: Darius Jason. Education: Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1960; Rutgers University, M.A., 1964, Ph.D., 1965; University of Tübingen, post-doctoral study.

ADDRESSES: Home—2815 West Greenleaf St., Allentown, PA 18104. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: State University of New York College at Oneonta, associate professor of German, 1965-66; Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA, began as assistant professor, became professor of international languages, creative writing, and comparative literature and served as coordinator of comparative literature and director of Honors Program, 1966-2001; full-time writer, 2001—.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

The Twisted Star, E. M. Press (Haymarket, VA), 1992.

Fate's Marionettes, Qunzhong Publishing House (Beijing, China), 1998, AmErica House (Frederick, MD), 2001.

The American War, Qunzhong Publishing House (Beijing, China), 2001, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2002.

A Guy from Brooklyn, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2002.

The Other Sex, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2002.

You Never Know, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2003.

Apparatus, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2003.

OTHER

(Editor, with Vincent LoCicero) Humor and Witz, Harper (New York, NY), 1968.

Novellentheorie: The Practicality of the Theoretical, Mouton (Hawthorne, NY), 1970.

Contributor of articles and reviews to journals. Editor and chief contributor, Mafkikker, a literary magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: Donald LoCicero told CA: "The Twisted Star is the first novel in a historical trilogy. It presents a detailed account of the disintegration of the German nation during the years of World War I and through the dark Nazi period. It portrays the fates of two families, one Jewish and one Aryan. Heinrich Hartstein and others experience the horrors of the concentration camp. The family of Karl Linsdorff, Heinrich's Aryan best friend, is also central in the work: I describe the suffering they endure as a result of their refusal to accept Nazi doctrines. While the novel's primary focus is on the pernicious effects of racism and bigotry, it also demonstrates the power of love and friendship. In the end, there are many questions: How was a civilized country like Germany able to spawn the Holocaust? Why did so many Jews remain in the Third Reich until it was too late to flee? Where were the democracies when it would have been possible to halt the atrocities? Why did God permit such an unthinkable horror?

"The second volume in the trilogy, Fate's Marionettes, continues the story of Heinrich Hartstein, a survivor of the Nazi death camp Treblinka, and his best friend and brother-in-law, Karl Linsdorff, who suffers through the battle of Stalingrad and the siege of Leningrad, serving as a noncombatant field surgeon. Captured by the Red Army as he attempts to defect from the Wehrmacht, Karl languishes for years in the gulags of Siberia.

"Meanwhile, Heinrich struggles to regain the will to live and to adjust to a new life in America, eventually finding a cause which gives his life purpose. Supplied with false papers by the Jewish underground movement, he travels to Palestine to join in the war for an independent Jewish state. After the foundation of Israel, he becomes disillusioned with the pervasive hate and violence between Arabs and Jews and returns to the United States.

"Finally free after many years of captivity, Karl also makes his way to the United States. Heinrich and Karl are also reunited. All is not happy, however, since a war in Southeast Asia looms ahead.

"The final work in the trilogy, The American War, takes place in the United States, Israel, and Vietnam. The central character of the work is Franz Linsdorff, son of the former Wehrmacht field physician Karl Linsdorff and nephew of the concentration camp survivor, Heinrich Hartstein. A pacifist, Franz follows his father's lead and dedicates himself to the study of medicine. Out of a sense of duty and loyalty to his adopted country, he enlists in the American army when hostilities break out between America and North Vietnam. Sent to Vietnam as a medic, Franz serves valiantly until he is severely wounded during the Tet offensive.

"This work presents a comprehensive picture of American society during the war that is known in Vietnam as the American War. Along with descriptions of battle, the novel details the peace movement in the States, which Franz joins upon his return home. Another major theme is the plight of returning soldiers, many of whom are unable to adjust to 'normal' life after Vietnam.

"Another novel, A Guy from Brooklyn, presents an insight into the complexity of human nature. Unlike the mafia don in the television series The Sopranos, however, Guy Lorenzo is engaged in a life-defining journey from the tough Brooklyn streets to the halls of higher learning. The novel presents an account of how it was to grow up during the 1950s in Brooklyn, New York. The reader can follow Guy and his family as they escape the rat- and roach-infested slums of Williamsburg to settle in East New York. The first awakenings of interest in the opposite sex, membership in a tough street gang, academic failure and success, and ultimately true love—these are some of the signposts along Guy's journey to adulthood.

"The Other Sex is intended as an erotic, absurd, and profound romp through the labyrinth of human sexual identity. The adventures of Helen and Harold Kern, a devoted couple who wake up one morning transfigured into each other, will make you shake your head in disbelief. Will Harold's mother-in-law change her negative attitude toward him now that he carries her future grandchild? Can the burned-out pastor of their church offer spiritual aid to them in their bizarre circumstances? Will the young social worker, Ms. Turnball, be able to give them a pragmatic course of action to follow? Are they given legal counsel by the famous transvestite lawyer, or medical relief from their trusted family doctor? People are not always, if ever, what and who they seem to be."

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