Shattering the Idea of Normal

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A new novel challenges what is required to have a stable, supportive family.

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The image of the ‘ideal American family’ is a concept ingrained in modern American society as deeply as respect for the American flag. But what is ‘ideal’ and what is ‘normal’? The new novel Small Ironies: A Novel (published by AuthorHouse) by J. Peter Bergman challenges the myths and realities of the traditional nuclear family and takes readers into a world that most would prefer to ignore.

Laid out in three sections, Small Ironies follows the life of Max Draper, a boy born in New York City at the conclusion of WWII. Max is a young teen facing all of the trials and pitfalls that are common for any teenage boy. This normalcy is noteworthy because as readers get to know Max, it becomes apparent that Max comes from a decidedly uncommon family. In one way or another, all of the Drapers are prostitutes.

Each of the chapters of Small Ironies are told through the eyes of one of four characters. This shift in voice allows readers to gain multiple perspectives on the happenings in Max’s life and a true insight into the surprisingly normal Max. While the Draper family may engage in a highly non-traditional ‘family business’, they have an incredibly strong and cohesive family structure. It is this familial bond and its resulting normalcy reflected in Max’s character that are at the heart of the plot of Small Ironies.

As Max grows from a teen to a young adult and beyond, readers follow this remarkable young man as he faces a world that does not entirely accept him. Small Ironies is a unique story with a decidedly non-traditional cast of characters that seeks to challenge a reader’s concept of what the ‘all-American’ family truly is.

About the Author
Born in New York City in 1946, J. Peter Bergman is a true ‘Renaissance man’ with many fingers in many pies. After studies at Queens College in New York, the Juilliard School and the New School for Social Research, Bergman has had a long and distinguished career. A public relations expert in the fields of Public Art and Performing Arts, Bergman has been active in arts and preservation for many years. An author and a playwright, other titles by Bergman include a book of poetry entitled A Versifier’s Childish Garden Gleanings and Counterpoints, a Charles Dickens Award-winning collection of short fiction. He also co-authored Sheeptacular Pittsfield and The Films of Jeanette MacDonand and Nelson Eddy.

AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing provider, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry’s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. For more information, visit


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