Ambidextrous: Secret Lives of Children (out of print)
This fictionalized memoir recounts the adventures of an Italian-American schoolboy as he undergoes the trial of maturity in an upper-middle-class New York City suburb. One teacher hates him because he is left-handed, while another admires his ambition to become a writer and a truthful adult. In a first-person narrative, the hero describes his initiation into the rites of never-quite-innocent and sometimes harmful sex with the precocious Flaherty sisters and his school pal Ricky Hersch; later, there is his love affair with beautiful Franny Solomon whose crippled father is a voyeur. Bearing many resemblances to Doctorow's World's Fair, this novel re-creates a decadethe post-war yearsby limning the attitudes and desires of a young boy growing up and by an itemization of the toys he played with, the books he read, the friends he made and the games he played.