My family moved to what seemed like a fairly nice Brooklyn neighborhood in 1951, when I was 13. Under
the respectable surface it was gang infested. I got beaten up 2 or 3 times a week, until I was forced to join a gang to prevent serious injury. I did some bad things, yet hated every moment that I was doing them. I was lucky and escaped the gang when I was 15.
My first fiction writing was at age 21, based on childhood experiences and gang life.
|A Glimpse of Youth, by Gary Beck|
I was attending Hunter College, and one day while I was writing at a table in the cafeteria, a professor sat down across from me. He spread out papers and books and started mumbling to himself. He asked what I was writing. I replied,” a story”, he asked what it was about. When I replied:”gang life”, he got very excited and told me he was editing a short story anthology about gangs for a major publisher. He asked to read it, loved it and asked to read another. He said he’d like to include them in the anthology. This was very exciting for me, since these were my first stories.
A few weeks later he was killed in an auto accident. The new editor didn’t like the stories and rejected them.
I got involved in other projects and didn’t get back to the stories for many years. I sent them to literary magazines and all of them were published. Sweatshoppe Publications recently published the collection, A Glimpse of Youth, in Amaya, 2013.
The stories are a painful portrait of a boy swept away by unpleasant circumstances, who manages to escape gang life and start a new path for a better life.
A Glimpse of Youth written by Gary Beck and published by Sweatshoppe Publications is available online at Amazon.com.
About the Author
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. His book The Conquest of Somalia was published by Cervena Barva Press, The Dance of Hate was published by Calliope Nerve Media, Material Questions was published by Silkworms Ink, Dispossessed was published by Medulla Press and Mutilated Girls was published by Heavy Hands Ink. A collection of his poetry Days of Destruction was published by Skive Press. Another collection Expectations was published by Rogue Scholars press and Dawn in Cities was published by Winter Goose Publishing. Assault on Nature™ will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novel Extreme Change was published by Cogwheel Press and Acts of Defiance is being published by Artema Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and has toured many colleges and outdoor performance venues.