Mathew Tekulsky

Mathew Tekulsky is a new voice in American literature. With a style that is at once conversational yet sophisticated, Tekulsky is a master of the novel and the short story. His short and long fiction gives us characters who inhabit their own world and are thrown into situations that produce the greatest of ironies. One of the hallmarks of Tekulsky’s style is his dedication to the reading of Hemingway, Wolfe, Steinbeck, and Kerouac, along with his research on Southern literature, especially Flannery O’Connor, whom he studied in a class with short-story writer and novelist Jesse Hill Ford at the University of Rochester in 1975. In addition, he wrote a thesis on Aldous Huxley during his junior year abroad at the University of Birmingham in England in 1974. 


Whether writing about his college classmates at the fictional Eastman University in SAVING ANNIE, a novella in which a group of potheads in 1971 plan to smuggle marijuana from Jamaica in order to raise funds for their friend’s sister’s face operation after he messed her up in a car crash; or THE SUMMER I WAS JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO, a novel in which two thirteen year-old boys, one with leukemia, bond during a magical summer in 1968 at the fictional Camp Mohawk on the shores of Lake Placid, encountering an old hermit in the process and learning the meaning of life; Mathew Tekulsky brings the rich traditions of American literature into his baby-boomer generation, blending an informal tone with a deep sense of story and character. This combination, journalistic in nature, produces the effect of a sense of truth in Tekulsky’s short stories and novels, a quality that Flannery O’Connor herself cherished greatly. 


In his published novel THE MARTIN LUTHER KING MITZVAH (Fitzroy Books, 2018), a twelve year-old boy and girl, one Jewish and one Catholic, experience their first taste of young love during the school year of 1967-1968, as they meet Martin Luther King and embark on a peace protest in their fictional hometown of Beachmont, New York, against the Vietnam War. 


His short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines,
including Adirondac, Jewish Spectator, Network Africa, Salome, and British Directory. He was awarded Honorable Mention in the Short Story category of the 1984 Writer’s Digest Magazine writing competition.


Mathew grew up in Larchmont, New York, and he went to Mamaroneck High School. He spent many summers at camps in the Adirondack Mountains, climbing 33 of the 46 High Peaks and exploring the wilderness. His senior year thesis at Mamaroneck High School was on the “Forever Wild” clause for the Adirondack and Catskill parks, contained in Article XIV of the New York State Constitution, which was approved in 1894. It begins: “The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.” 


He received a B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1975 with a major in history and a minor in English literature. During his Junior Year Abroad at the University of Birmingham in England, he wrote a thesis on Aldous Huxley. 


Mathew has dedicated himself for more than thirty years to photographing birds in his garden in the Brentwood Hills of Los Angeles, California; in Adamant, Vermont; and in various places around the world. This work culminated in the publication of his book Backyard Bird Photography: How to Attract Birds to Your Home and Create Beautiful Photographs (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014). 


Mathew is the author of The Art of Hummingbird Gardening and The Art of Butterfly Gardening (both Skyhorse Publishing, 2015). He is also the author of "The Birdman of Bel Air," a column at NationalGeographic.com featuring essays about his birding experiences. His bird essays have been published in Wake-Robin, the newsletter of the John Burroughs Association, and his essays on John Burroughs have been posted on the North American Review blog.


His book Making Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks (Crown, 1993; Skyhorse, 2012) was a best-seller.

 

picture: 

Mathew Tekulsky


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