Joseph Mackin

Pretend All Your Life Front Cover

cover design
Lon Kirschner
site design

"...astonishingly metaphoric...a sense of deep and far-reaching significance."
--Kermit Moyer, author of The Chester Chronicles

In the eerie winter after New York's most famous day, enigmatic egoist Dr. Richard Gallin has no end of troubles. A success on his own terms—Park Avenue plastic surgeon, father, art collector, libertine—Gallin is suddenly hard-pressed to hold on to his place in a post-9/11 world he hardly recognizes.

And it's not just Richard Gallin whose identity is in flux. The turmoil in New York has tilted the surface of the world’s greatest city, and everybody is scrambling for opportunity. Take the enterprising journalist seeking strange justice, the Wall Street dissembler hoping for new life, a Nicaraguan rebel conjuring his American dream, the beautiful wife trapped by her perfect penthouse sky...

Twists ensue that only the unleashed desires of these human hearts could produce—as someone close asks Gallin to do something he could never be prepared to do. Just as he asks another to do what was previously unthinkable.

Pretend All Your Life takes place in just six days, during which the dilemmas these characters face echo many of the major questions of our time—about responsibility, beauty, identity, ambition and love. An incisive, surprise-filled portrait of a place and a people on the verge, this is an unforgettable debut novel that resounds with life at a defining moment in history.


(published by The Permanent Press, April 2010)