York : Vintage Books, 1996.
formative years were in the 70s when a drug culture overshadowed the world
and David Carradine made kung fu a household word. (After some students
reacted to David Carradine I brought in some pebbles and did a quick routine
about snatching the pebbles from my hand.) When Mark was 13 he decided
to give up all material things and become a wandering Zen monk kung fu
artist. Since his parents objected, he settled for turning the basement
into a combination martial arts studio and Buddhist temple. Mark’s
passion for kung fu allowed him to transform from bully object to friend
of bully when Michael, of the infamous Dempsey family, caught him practicing
kung fu and decided it was cool. His kung fu phase came to an end
the night his sensei choked a student into unconsciousness. It wasn’t
a total loss, however, because a teacher at school encouraged Mark to transfer
his kung fu obsession into a passion for Chinese history and philosophy.
This ultimately led to early admission to Yale, which was great until Mark’s
family realized they just couldn’t afford Yale. This wasn’t really
disappointing to Mark whose real goal was to take a year off and play jazz
cello. Unfortunately, Mark turned to drugs that year but was lucky
enough to get a reality check in time to earn enough money to go to Yale.
Both funny and gritty, Lost in Place marks a boy’s journey to manhood.
(Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross High School, San Antonio, TX 78228
American authors -- Biography.
Ridgefield (Conn. : Town) -- Social life and customs.
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