New memoir portrays a coming of age amidst America’s cultural revolution

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Tom Bissinger’s ‘The Fun House’ takes readers on an adventurous journey, a love story, pushing the thresholds of self-discovery

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After the conflict and destruction of World War II, and the paranoia and fear of the 1950s, the nation saw a colorful yet clashing period of mass liberalization, a relaxation of norms and mores, that would forever alter its makeup. The 1960s and 1970s saw some of the greatest social and cultural changes in the history of the United States of America. Author Tom Bissinger grew up in those times, and his life story is, in a way, a summation of that era of emergence of unabashed transformation and cultural revolution. In his new book, he recounts how he lived in “The Fun House” and participated in these pivotal events in American history.

With his book, Bissinger tells his personal story, exploring the bright and dark sides that came with the cultural revolutions of the ‘60s and ‘70s. “The Fun House” begins with his childhood in San Francisco during the Second World War, and moves on to college, living in Paris, and how he became an avant-garde director in the New York theater scene when the ‘60s were in full swing. The ‘70s witnesses the author in Philadelphia, artistic director of The Theatre of Living Arts, and, and when that closes, he begins to reeducate himself, contributing to the renaissance of Philadelphia’s famed South Street, a place where sex, drugs and street theater were the norm. The last chapters of the book gives us Bissinger, his wife and their two-year-old son on a nine month journey around the world, living with families they encounter on their pilgrimage along their way.

By showing Bissinger’s personal journey of discovery, juxtaposed with the sociocultural transformation of an entire nation, “The Fun House” demonstrates how readers can explore their own stories, their own life narratives, and how they can share these tales with others - acknowledging both the light and shadow sides of their personal tales.

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About the Author
Tom Bissinger grew up in San Francisco, attended Phillips Academy and Stanford University, and after military service, moved to New York City, where in the 1960s, he directed plays Off- and Off-Off-Broadway as well as in theaters throughout the United States and Europe. He began writing plays and short fiction in the 1970s when he moved to the Pennsylvania countryside. His plays include the tragic comedy “The Big Kephresh,” “Descartes’ Blues” (a play about the life and loves of Rene Descartes), and his latest (coauthored with Dance Wareham) “The Bus,” which was performed on a 40-foot bus. He has held a variety of jobs in teaching, publishing, and performing. His book, “Da Capo: Selected Writings 1967–2004,” edited by Philip Beitchman, PhD, was published in 2008. Since 1987, Bissinger has studied with Joseph Rael, an American Indian visionary. Bissinger is married and has two children and many grandchildren.

THE FUN HOUSE * by Tom Bissinger
Memories, Mayhem, and Magic
Publication Date: November 25, 2013
Trade Paperback; $21.99; 215 pages; 978-1-4931-2751-1
Trade Hardback; $31.99; 215 pages; 978-1-4931-2752-8
e-book; $3.99; 978-1-4931-2753-5

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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