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About the author

Author Dr. Richard R. Karlen, his wife Hiroko Karlen and his four children and three grandchildren

Richard R. Karlen, author of LOOKING FOR BERNIE, grew up in Newark, NJ, where he practiced dentistry for thirty-five years.  He currently lives in Scotch Plains, NJ with his wife, daughter and twin grandchildren.  His fourth novel MURDER AT THE SEXI will be published by Ironbound Press in the winter of 2001.

 AUTHOR’S NOTE

While ANSWER MAN is a purely fictitious work, the character of George Grossman, the protagonist of the novel, was in many respects based upon an uncle whom I greatly admired and loved.

My uncle was trained as an architect (a graduate of Cooper Union), but was unable to find employment in his chosen field during the hard times of the depression era.  Married to my father’s sister and with two children to support, he found a job working at Kresge Department store in downtown Newark in Women’s Shoes.  He remained at Kresge’s for twenty years until he opened a small shoe store in Union, NJ.  The store ultimately failed because of the fierce competition from the discount shoe stores on the highways and in the malls that had begun to appear in increasing numbers in the late Sixties and Seventies.  Though bankruptcy was always right around the corner, my uncle still managed to send his sons through college and professional schools.  In the last years of his life, he and my aunt survived primarily on social security.

From this barest of biographical data, one might conclude that my uncle’s life was wrought with economic hardship and personal frustration.  While there is some truth in such a conjecture, the bigger truth is that he was a man of courage, one who never surrendered his sense of fairness and decency no matter how difficult the circumstances.  I saw my uncle as a quiet man, one who understood what the words “personal integrity” represented more than any other man I’ve ever known.  If in ANSWER MAN I have succeeded in portraying the essence of his character, I will be satisfied.

 

               
             
               

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