Drawn from Life, a novel, was published by the innovative Quale Press in 2008.
Its page at Quale is here.
Its page at Amazon is here.
Recently it was featured in the fascinating blog, Band of Thebes, which you can read here.
The opening chapter:
Ford and Chrysler
From his stubby point of view each make of car had its own personality. He would stand, brown eyes at headlight level, puckering up for a smooch of Mommy’s 1940 Dodge or narrowing his lips to a thin line to match the toothless smile of Gramma’s ’Chrysler. But Grandmother’s ’black Ford had a fussy swept-up mustache that caused him to squint and wrinkle his nose.
He was Pete. He had been born in a year of no new cars, only jeeps, tanks, and half-tracks. Before the war, before Pete was born, Daddy had broken his family tradition of Fords and bought himself an Oldsmobile. Pete did not recall Daddy ever having gone away to fight but did have a cloudy memory of the silver-blue Olds resting on blocks in the garage and of himself trying to spin its sluggish tires when he was not yet two.
Grandmother, who had the Ford, lived close to them in their village near Lake Michigan, but Gramma with the Chrysler had her place by the Mississippi one-hundred and thirty-two miles west. She had retired there long ago. Pete told her he too would retire there when he was old.
The land between the lake and the river was Illinois, and there in Pete’s travels every possible make of car would pass, coming and going, and he could identify them all. Shortly after his second birthday, sitting on the curb in front of his house at home, Pete had witnessed the first post-war models roll by. Mommy and Daddy were astonished when he recognized the ’Chrysler from the way it had opened its tight-lipped ’42 smile and now showed rows of teeth the same as Pete could do at last.
One day his Ford grandfather showed up in a new Mercury. It had a broad mustache brushed down across its upper lip. Pete could discern the family resemblances, for Fords and Mercurys belonged together the way Chryslers and Dodges did. But Mommy had her Dodge and Daddy had his Oldsmobile, so what kind of car would Pete ever have for himself?