Here's a literary 'newcomer' who stands out from the crowd. Frank Crocitto, who is 65 and has been out of the writing ring for over 30 years, is making a comeback well into grandfather-hood. Enter Hooray for Love: Crocitto's latest collection of work, and first literary sampler.
Crocitto crafted Hooray for Love as a modern-day paean to the ever elusive-and often undefined-human activity of loving. He weaves together strands of short stories, poems and a play that reveal the myriad approaches we take towards love as we move through our lives.
The freshness Frank Crocitto brings to his writing comes from his love of the literary detail-the consideration of line breaks, what happens as the reader turns a page. Raised on Stephen Crane and Henry David Thoreau, he is especially appreciative of the streamlined richness of lyrical journalism.
Though old-guard, Crocitto's writing is definitely not antique. The short story 'May I in the Merry Merry' depicts a timeless, spring-filled Manhattan-one ready to bloom at any moment within the heart of erstwhile lover Vincent J. Sciaputo. The play 'O Fathomless Love,' with just enough tongue in its cheek, is the play you wish they would teach in high-school drama courses.
And the vignette 'My Wife, My Life' proves refreshingly free of the doom that accompanies so many modern stories of marriage, casting an uncritical eye on a husband forgetting his spouse, and then, remembering.
The book culminates in the substantial essay 'Hooray for Love,' in which Crocitto describes his personal search for the true nature of love. Set against the backdrop of his college theatre-days, with Shakespeare as a springboard, Crocitto dives into the practical aspects of love. His words are especially pertinent now, in our love-lorn but love-deprived society.
Crocitto's memoir A Child's Christmas In Brooklyn received high praise last season for its rich poetics and homespun charm. Hooray for Love picks up where the Christmas spirit leaves off-carrying the inspirational into the truly practical.
As Crocitto writes, "Love is the object, the thing to aim for, the desirable thing... a book should serve it. So, here then, is a book with love as its object." Not merely a collection of 'nice notions,' Hooray for Love is an event honouring Love.