One-Legged Mongoose is an account of my life from ages 10 to 12, narrated by the boy I was then. It begins in 1953, when our parents transferred my younger brother Stephen and me from public school on Long Island to a Yeshiva in Queens, a four-hour round-trip commute. At my old school, I’d been a prodigious fighter, protecting Stephen against those who hurt him or insulted me and my religion. At Yeshiva, I was plunged into a new world of kids who fought with words, not fists, and I had to adapt.
At the core of the book is the secret I lived with; my mother had been beating me severely since I’d been two. Over the next two years, I faced a bout of polio and a serious car accident. I was an avid reader: The Old Man and the Sea, The Red Badge of Courage. Books provided solace and a vehicle through which I tried to make sense of my risk-taking life.
One-Legged Mongoose is a story about hope and possibility.