Novelist Carole Malkin is, among other accolades, the mother-in-law of writer/activist/entrepreneur Michelle Malkin. Recently, she has published two new novels: The Life and Art of Gary Geckleman and Paper Bridge. Both are coming-of-age stories, centered around teenaged Jewish boys struggling to come to terms with sex, family, religion and death in the postwar era. Both are thoughtful reflections on what manhood actually means.
In Geckleman, Malkin follows the development of a young boy being raised by his mother and grandmother in a Manhattan tenement. He idealizes his absent father, who has moved to Florida--a world away in climate and culture--and remarried. After discovering his father's alcoholism, he finds new male role models, including his mother's brother and her new boyfriend, both of whom nurture his interest in art, in which he finds his voice.