Marc Straus- One-Legged Mongoose: Secrets, Legacies, and Coming of Age in 1950s New York
Play • 14 min

Set in 1950s New York in the shadow of the execution of the Rosenbergs, the memoir documents two pivotal years of Straus’s childhood on Long Island, beginning with him being forced by his parents to leave public school and commute four hours a day to a Yeshiva in Queens where the kids studied the Talmud—in the original Aramaic—for half a day five days a week and fought with words, not fists. But it was fists that Straus was used to after years of fighting off bigger kids who harassed his younger, sensitive, bully-magnet brother. And it was fists that he was used to from home.

An unflinching look at child abuse and one boy’s ability to rise above it, One-Legged Mongoose reminds us of the bonds between siblings, the power of family secrets, and the way we learn to protect ourselves by protecting each other.

Marc Straus is a poet, writer, medical oncologist, and art collector who lives in Chappaqua, NY. He has published four poetry collections including Not God, staged Off Broadway. His poems and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and many other literary journals. Marc and his wife founded Hudson Valley MOCA in Peekskill, NY, and Marc runs the Marc Straus Gallery in New York City. One-Legged Mongoose is his first book of prose.

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