"I intend to die
in a tavern; let the wine be placed by my dying mouth, so that
when the choirs of angels come, they may say, 'God be merciful
to this drinker!''
Curialium" Walter Mapes
Bernie Hirsch, a fifty-two year old dentist from Newark, New
Jersey, has left his office to go on an alcoholic bender in New
York. There, he encounters Dwayne Lincoln, a young
African-American from Chicago, and this odd pair travels the
streets of lower Manhattan for five days in an odyssey filled with
misadventures and mayhem. As Bernie's wife Paula, and his
twin children, Danny and Diane anxiously search the city for him,
the novel explores the impact that Bernie's drinking and
compulsive gambling have had upon his family.
Set in the year 1956, two years after the Supreme Court
decision holding segregation in public schools as
unconstitutional, LOOKING FOR BERNIE is also an examination
of race relationships in an era which American society was finally
beginning to come to grips with its moral deficiencies.