Abraham Rothberg  - Author

Abraham Rothberg passed away peacefully on March 28, 2011 at his home at the age of 89. He was my friend, mentor, surrogate father and personal curmudgeon. He is dearly missed.

I feel fortunate that Abe was part of my life. It's been a privilege to help bring his work back into print. ~ Peter Pappas


 Read: Fiction is a Lie That Tells the Truth
A Talk Delivered by Abraham Rothberg at the Jewish Book Festival Rochester Jewish Community Center
January 9, 2009


Edteck Press proudly presents:
New Fiction by Abraham Rothberg

Printable Flyer  200kb pdf

High Praise for Rothberg in:
NY Times, Harper's, Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly

New Essays by Rothberg
In Partial Praise of Marriage
The Iraqi Road 
Cultivate Your Own Garden 
The Taste Of The Past; A Brooklyn Nostalgia

Buy Out-of-Print Books by Rothberg
At Alibris Books 
At Amazon Books

Prior to publishing the titles listed on this site, Abraham Rothberg  authored thirteen published novels, among them THE HEIRS OF CAIN, THE THOUSAND DOORS, and THE OTHER MAN'S SHOES. He also published two books of history, a collection of short stories, two children's books, and a volume of literary criticism. 

His short stories, essays, poems and articles have appeared in many publications and been reprinted in a number of anthologies and textbooks, including THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, where three of his stories appeared.  He was twice winner of the John H. McGinnis Award, once for fiction, a second time for nonfiction.  The Rochester Literary Prize for a body of written work was also conferred on him. 

A native New Yorker, Rothberg traveled widely on three continents and worked at a variety of jobs in industry, government, publishing, journalism, and university teaching.



New by Abraham Rothberg

The Trials of Arthur John Shawcross
By Abraham Rothberg

378 pages pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, 
Order: $12.06

The latest work from Abraham Rothberg is a compelling and shocking look at the trials of a serial murder convicted, in the early 1990s, of killing eleven women in and around the Rochester, NY area. More than just a mere account of the court proceedings, this narrative explores into Arthur Shawcross’s childhood, his tour of duty in Vietnam and his past murders, eloquently outlining the scores of conflicting evidence and testimony. Although humorous at times, Mr. Rothberg’s frank examination of the trial and its subject is both fascinating and unsettling. The book brazenly questions the ethics and efficiency of our modern judicial system and the fallout from a trial as lengthy and infamous as Shawcross’s. The impressively in-depth research and poignancy of critique make this a captivating and illuminating read.


New by Abraham Rothberg:

On A Darkling Plain
By Abraham Rothberg

315 pages pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, 
Order: $12.30

On A Darkling Plain collects twenty-seven works of short fiction by Abraham Rothberg that revolve around the theme of War as an unshakeable background of life. This is the first publication of many of his pieces, among them "The Doctor's Son," "Cousins," and "November Days." Others are previously published in a wide variety of journals and magazines including the Antioch Review, South Dakota Review, Southwest Review and Saturday Evening Post. Enjoy the works in The Darkling Plain; they will "introduce you into the lies and truths of other people's minds and hearts, to your own country and time, or strange, foreign places and other eras, into the most public forums and the most private scenes of human intimacy."




New by Abraham Rothberg:

What Time Is It Now? Reflection on Literature and Life: Selected Essays by Abraham Rothberg

315 pages pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, 
Order $13.95

"What Time Is It Now?" is a retrospective selection of essays, sharply observed and often humorous, that span almost half a century of reflections of modern life and literature, politics and personality. There is an essay analyzing the operations of British Secret Intelligence in the novels of John LeCarré, explorations of the conflicts between "superman" Social Darwinism and Socialism as portrayed in the works of Jack London. The collection contains a series of personal forays into the nature of modern marriage, of trying to "cultivate one's own garden" in modern life, as well as how novelists have depicted the "flawed dream" of American politics. In addition, there are analyses of Gary Snyder's poetry and their sources, Solzhenitsyn's short stories and plays and their underlying morality, and the domestic turbulence of Arnold Wesker's English dramas. Several essays also describe and dissect anti-Semitism in European life and literature, its roots and reverberations, and in one instance, in the works of T.S. Eliot.





New by Abraham Rothberg:

How The Burning Bush Burns:
A Trio of Short Novel

244 pages pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, 
Order $14.95

The brilliant narrative in the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Exodus, tells how the Israelites were freed from bondage in Egypt. The story begins with Moses and the miracle that signifies his choice by God to lead his people out of Egypt. The "Burning Bush" which is not consumed becomes in the centuries following a central metaphor for the Jewish people burned by genocide, persecution, hatred, prejudice, but not consumed. Hence the title of this volume of three short novels about Jews in the post-Holocaust 20th century struggling to survive not only the murder of six million of their brethren but their efforts to keep that burning bush greening and revived even after German murderousness has set it burning.

The title story, "How the Burning Bush Burns," tells of a family of Polish Jews who have lost everything in the Shoah - family, friends, professions, property, native land and language, and how they try to survive transplanted in New York City and Israel. The second novel, "The Preservers," tells how a rabbi and his wife, both of whom have devoted their lives to synagogue congregations, are obsessed with collecting and preserving whatever artifacts of Jewish life and religion they can find from many countries and many eras in the face of how much has been destroyed over time. The last, "The Pinkas Wall," tells of an American Jewish foreign correspondent in post-World War II Czechoslovakia who reflects on the Nazi occupation and oppression, all the while experiencing the contemporary oppression of another anti-Semitic regime under Stalinism. 





New by Abraham Rothberg:
The Walls and the Gates
Vol I and Vol II

Volume I: 509 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding,  Order Volume I  $19.95

Volume II:  511 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding,  Order Volume II  $19.95

THE WALLS AND THE GATES is a panoramic novel of four decades of modern life, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the upheavals of the 1960s, dealing with the lives and fates of a varied group of fascinating human beings: An Irish-American family of immigrants whose father works on the New York City docks; a family of Tsarist refugees from the Soviet Union whose father remains an activist anti-Communist political; still another family, of immigrant Italians, who fled their native country after the Risorgimento and have since prospered in the California wine country. Two other families are also important, one of early anti-Nazi Germans, a refugee doctor from an aristocratic Prussian family, now a distinguished professor of medicine at Cornell, and an old Main Line WASP family of bankers, deeply conservative and proud of a lineage that goes back to the founding of the Republic.

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
Coming To Terms

$17.96 Printed: 392 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,

Coming to Terms is a novel exploring the lives of half a dozen friends and colleagues of differing generations—Hippies and Boomers, Gen-Xers and Vietnam and World War II veterans— as they strive to find meaning and happiness in the tidal wave of change inundating the America of the late 20th century and the beginnings of the 21st. All are caught up in a struggle with themselves and each other in trying to move their lives forward and make sense of their respective pasts, their personal commitments as wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, lovers and loners, young and old, heterosexuals and homosexuals, soldiers and civilians. As they come to terms with their pasts, they define their presents and discover their futures, some willingly, but most reluctantly. In doing so, they fracture the circles of their families, friendships and allegiances, and discover the prices human beings must pay in contending with society's constraints on the individual's struggle for freedom and pursuit of happiness.

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
The Former People

$13.95 Printed: 271 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,
$3.99 Download: PDF (800 kb)
ISBN: 1-4116-6331-4

THE FORMER PEOPLE  is an international novel set variously in Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Vienna, Budapest and New York. It deals with the lives of those "former people" who were once important men in politics, diplomacy, Intelligence and the arts after they have lost their positions of power and influence. Exiles and émigrés, ex-diplomats and Intelligence agents, former prizewinning poets and novelists, Party hacks and Party mavericks, they are all either struggling to resume their former more exalted positions, or giving up the pride of place they once enjoyed and coming to terms with their present circumstances.

This spellbinding tale of friendship and enmity, of loyalty and betrayal, of pride and humility, that unites and divides a group of remarkable individuals, who are involved in the Hungarian Revolution and its aftermath, makes fascinating reading. It gives penetrating insights into how international policies are arrived at, how revolutions are won and lost, how the people who make the policies and fight the revolutions fare, and who pays the prices for their failures. In doing so, The Former People also makes clearer the mystery of how the Soviet Empire would, in the not-too-distant future, fall apart.

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
The Torii Gate: A Novel Of Japan

$13.95 Printed: 253 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,
$4.35 Download: PDF (785 kb)
ISBN: 1-4116-5610-5

THE TORII GATE, a novel set in present-day Japan, involves six major characters, three Japanese and three Americans, both men and women, caught up in a right-wing conspiracy to overthrow the Japanese government.  The conspirators, who call themselves the "Samurai Society," believe that democratic rule runs counter to Japanese history and tradition, and is an alien import of American culture.   The "Society" is set on overturning the government to restore Japan to its "essential Samurai traditions" and Emperor-worship, and at the same time to purge Japan of American influence. The major characters include an internationally known Japanese novelist who is the founder and head of the "Samurai Society," his wife and ward, his American translator, and two American diplomats assigned to the American embassy in Tokyo.

 Told through the eyes of the American translator, a long-time friend of the Japanese writer, the story takes the six major characters through the coup and its aftermath.  All the individuals have differing views of Japan, of America, of the purposes and possibilities of the coup, and of one another.  Not only are they involved with one another politically, but personally, as colleagues, friends, and lovers.  In portraying their lives and the events in which they are caught up, the novel also depicts the dilemmas facing modern Japan, simultaneously evoking its ancient history and, most particularly, its history since Japan's defeat in World War II.

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
Pinocchio’s Sister
        ~ A Feminist Fable

$11.95 Printed: 159 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,
$4.23 Download: PDF (435 kb)

ISBN: 1-4116-4347-X

Not long after the old carpenter Geppetto made the marionette he named Pinocchio, and happily saw the marionette turn into a live boy, he finds himself deeply disappointed in the boy he looks on as his son.  Pinocchio cheats, plays hooky from school, thinks only of himself, and lies again and again to cover his selfishness and misdeeds.  But his nose betrays him; every time he lies, Pinocchio's nose grows longer. Still, when Pinocchio runs away from home and disappears, Geppetto is broken-hearted.

One day he finds a beautiful piece of walnut wood, and is driven to make another marionette of it.  This one turns out to be a girl he names Gelsomina.  She is everything Pinocchio is not, generous, warm-hearted, eager to go to school and learn; in short, she is a joy to the old carpenter's heart.  Yet to his amazement, he finds that, in contrast to Pinocchio, Gelsomina's nose grows not when she tells a lie but only when she tells the truth.

In spite of Gelsomina's kindness and caring for him, Geppetto misses Pinocchio, worrying about what happened to him, so Gelsomina sets out to find Pinocchio and bring him home.  How she does so is a magical and charming fairy tale of how goodness triumphs, in which Gelsomina saves Pinocchio’s life, changes Geppetto's life for the better, and learns how to deal with telling the truth and lying until at last she becomes a real live girl, a daughter to Geppetto and a sister to Pinocchio.

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
The Holy Warriors

$13.95 Printed: 331 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,
$2.79 Download: PDF (1494 kb)
ISBN: 1-4116-3038-6

A clandestine cell of Arab jihadis led by an Egyptian Colonel of Intelligence and a firebrand Imam combine to bomb the Federal Reserve, the New York Stock Exchange, the United Nations and both the Protestant and Jewish theological seminaries.  Their intentions are to strike at various significant symbols of American life and thereby force the American President to show himself publicly to reassure New York's citizens. Once he comes to New York, they plan to assassinate him.

A small special committee from C.I.A., the F.B.I., U.S. Army Intelligence and the New York City Police, aided by an Arabic-speaking Israeli Mossad agent is appointed to hunt the jihadis down before they can do any further damage and to prevent them from killing the President.

A cliff-hanger novel of suspense, The Holy Warriors shows us the deadly chess game between these two forces, from both the jihadis’ side and the American side, as well as the seething violence and the savage personal dramas beneath the hunters and the hunted.

Read chapter 1

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New by Abraham Rothberg:
A Beast in View

$12.95 Printed: 206 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in.,
$4.11 Download: PDF (509 kb)
ISBN: 1-4116-3200-1

The Second World War has just ended, and in the first post­war summer, a group of veterans—soldiers, sailors, and Marines, men and women—come home to the United States bringing the war with them like a disease they have contracted and are intent on curing. From all parts of the country, a group of them arrive at the renowned Writers' Workshop of Amelia Whiteside in New York City in search of peace, purpose and meaning.  In that workshop, under the tutelage of the strange and estranged Miss Whiteside, herself a disappointed writer and editor, and also a veteran of her own wars, they try to come to terms with what they have done in the war, and what the war has done to them.

They do what most people do when they return from conflicts: They try to fit themselves into a peaceful society.  They study; they get drunk, they search for God; they fall in love; they marry and divorce; and most of all they try to shape a future for themselves and their generation.  Except that these are veterans who, at the same time, are trying to put their experiences and insights down on paper for publication for others to read and understand.  It is this "Beast in View" they all pursue, and it is in portraying that pursuit that Abraham Rothberg gives us a series of unforgettable events and characters who come to learn that peace is war by other means.

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Abraham Rothberg
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