Friday, May 15, 2009

The Eye, The Heart, The Word (Susan Moon & Her Students at Manzanita Village)


"This booklet was born at Manzanita Village, a retreat center in wild country in Southern California. The old ranch stead, set in rugged dry hills, looks like the set of a Western movie, with the added bonus of an adobe meditation hall. [...]

All of these pieces are engaging in themselves, and they also illustrate the way I teach, using prompts and suggestions that I have found to be helpful in encouraging creativity and drawing forth our authentic and surprising stories. We already have everything we need in order to write; we have been doing the research on what it means to be a human being ever since we were born.

For one weekend, seven of us cheered each other on—to look with our eyes both within and without, to let our own words come forth out of silence, and to speak from the heart."

(From the "Introduction" by Susan Moon)

Available for purchase from DUENDE Books.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maria Dracula

Juvenile Fiction

In this coming-of-age fairy tale, a witch apprentice from Salem discovers that she is the great-granddaughter of Dracula from Transylvania – Maria Dracula - and, with his help, she battles a cruel regime and frees his fantastic country, Rondelia.

"Maria Dracula is truly an imaginative story. It has - just about - every magical exercise devised. Well-written, the narrative speeds along from one conflict to another. Somewhat gruesome in spots, a young student who hunkers down with the book will find action galore and a satisfying ending - with clues to a sequel. . . . Each chapter is fronted by a lovely ink-sketched illustration."

Nancy Ferrell

(1992 judge for the Golden Kite Award, reviewing more than 700 juvenile books; 1984 reviewer of children's books for the School Library Journal; reviewer for the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators)

This is a revised second edition, 2007. (The first edition was published in 2005 by iUniverse, in the Editor's Choice Series.)

A member of the Authors Guild of America, Alice is the author of a monograph on Romanian arts, popular culture, and everyday life, Fragmented Identities published by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, 2007. In June 2005, the actors of the Fountain Theater in Los Angeles read scenes from her surrealist/absurdist play, Voyage to the Moon. Alice has also published in the U.S. her father's child Holocaust memoir The Violinist (see below).

Angela Ursillo, whose work can be seen in the movies Lord of the Rings and King Kong, signs the illustrations and book cover.

A previous version of Maria Dracula is a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's 2005 Book of the Year Award contest, in juvenile fiction.

In 2007 Maria Dracula is published in Romania by one of the most prestigious publishers of children's literature and textbooks, Editura Didactica si Pedagogica from Bucharest.

Maria Dracula features as compulsory reading in the Syllabus for the English class at Milwood Elementary School in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Maria Dracula featured in the February 9, 2006 issue of The New York Review of Books.

Maria Dracula featured at the leading children's publishing event: The Bologna Children's Book Fair 43rd edition, Bologna, Italy, March 27-30, 2006.

Maria Dracula was on display at BookExpo America, the largest book publishing event in America, in Washington, D.C., May 19-21 2006.

Maria Dracula was on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany, October 4-8, 2006.

Maria Dracula is a registered trademark with the United States Patents and Trademarks Office.

Buy Maria Dracula from (Maria Dracula is also available in Kindle edition.)

This is the second, revised edition, published on July 15, 2007. The first edition was published in 2005 by iUniverse.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

DISTANT ECHOES by Giancarlo Covella

In Giancarlo Covella's poems love and life are the themes par excellence. The seasons change, but things are always the same. Love appears and disappears. Pain always stands. Distant echoes come and go. Silence reigns over everything. Sources of worry are constant. Consistency gets lost. All hopes end.

Giancarlo studies at the
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”.

(Available through orders only from DUENDE Books)

Sunday, May 6, 2007



In this one-act play the author pays tribute to the great French-Romanian absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco.

This is the fictional story of an idiosyncratic Jewish family, made of three seniors and one ten-year-old grand-daughter, who, during the terrible flood of 1976 try to escape totalitarian Romania. Chased by the regime’s cops and fighting the marks of their repressed memories from both the Holocaust and the communist regime, the four of them end up on a raft, heading for their great dream: America. Will they get there?

The author wishes to thank her father for revealing some incredible adventures her family went through before, during, and after World War Two. The author also wishes to thank Vlad for sharing with her the joke about the rubashka – hereby adapted with a twist.

Many characters and situations in this play draw on the author’s family and childhood back in Bucharest, before 1989. Although hereby transformed, their absurdist/surrealist gist remains unaltered even in 2007.

The flood from 1976 and the 1940 and 1977 earthquakes are true events.

The author wrote this play in the UCLA Writers’ Program workshops in play writing. She studied with playwrights Simon Levy and Leon Martell. In 2005, the actors of the Fountain Theater, in Los Angeles, read a few scenes of VOYAGE TO THE MOON. The audience, made mainly of playwright colleagues and family, would occasionally grin, giving the author a sense that something, good or bad, was happening on the stage.

(Available through orders only from Duende Books.)



THE VIOLINIST counterpoises the universe of childhood on a background of the Jewish Holocaust in Romania. It tells the story of Calmo (Lică), whose family is banned from Bucharest due to their Jewishness, as he bears witness to a world that has lost its humanity during the Second World War. In it he falls in love with a pianist, a Jewish girl named Luţa; he also recounts how his own artistry playing the violin charms both enemies and friends, Romanians, Germans, and Jews. Lică’s violin is today transformed into the author's pen, remastering these early experiences with maturity, yet somehow maintaining a tragic innocence. With its cinematographic narrative that blends humor with tragedy and love with music, THE VIOLINIST easily reminds one of Roberto Benigni’s LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and Roman Polanski’s THE PIANIST.

“[A] moving and well written account of a child prodigy…in wartime Romania.”
Randolph L. Braham, City University of New York

“The story is terrifying, touching, and in places also very funny.”
Robert Melson, False Papers: Deception and Survival in the Holocaust

“With sadness and humor, Calmo Rose describes the life of a family of Jewish refugees.”
Radu Ioanid, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D. C.

Calmo Rose is a Bucharest-based journalist and writer, author of more than twenty books on various social, cultural, ethical, and international themes—some of which have been translated into several languages.

Buy The Violinist from (The Violinist is also available in Kindle edition.)