Description of the novel
About the author
About the 40-year gestation and 12 proto-editions (1975-2017)

Wish for Amnesia Readings and Exhibitions
About the 58 photographs between the chapters
Chapter headings
Read inside the book

Definitive First Edition, 2017

Authored by Barbara Rosenthal 
Photographs by Barbara Rosenthal 
Foreword by Joseph A. W. Quintela 
Published by Deadly Chaps Press

ISBN 978-1-937739-92-8
Paperback, 6" x 9", 314 Pages


About the author:

BARBARA ROSENTHAL is a native New Yorker who taught in the English and Art Departments of 7 colleges over 33 years. Her first 4 books, Clues to Myself, Sensations, Homo Futurus and Soul & Psyche, were published by Visual Studies Workshop Press. She belongs to The Unbearables literary / art / performance collective in NYC, and her current publisher is Deadly Chaps Press, which released this literary novel, Wish for Amnesia in 2017, with 58 photos between the chapters,. Her stories, essays, poems, reviews and photographs have been included in many small magazines, such as Gathering of the Tribes; Flash Art International; And Then; Ragazine and The NY Times, and in anthologies such as Cradle and All (Faber & Faber) and The Big Book of Sex (Autonomedia).She has performed, screened videos, given talks and readings, and been included in many group shows, and in solo shows and readings in NY, Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, London, Brussels, Italy, Australia, and Prague, where she represented the US at TinaB: the Prague International Art Festival, in both Performance and Text in 2009 and 2010. The international preview-launch of Wish for Amnesia was in Barletta, Italy in Feb 2015. She has been featured reader in NY at Cornelia Street, Shades of Green, Parkside, Park Plaza, eMediaLoft, Bowery Poetry, HiFi Lounge, The Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library. 
—Author's website:
Definitive First Edition and Proto-editions:
one Definitve First Edition (2018) is the novel COMPLETE, UNABRIDGED, and RELEASED FOR DISTRIBUTION. ISBN 978-1-937739-92-8
Definitive First Edition (# Jan 4, 2017) Final text and fine print BW photographs.

seventeen Proto-editions (1980-2017) are limited editions/reprints of the novel-in-progress over the years, printed and circulted for purposes of preview, grants and funding, review, feedback, revision, gifts, or belief that the book had been finished at the time. (NOTE: Some of these different Proto-editions had been assigned the same ISBN numbers, so they are referred to by their Proto-edition names.) These proto-editions serve best for book clubs, scholars, collectors, students and readers curious about the writing process. Ideally, they SHOULD BE READ IN COMPARISON to the Definitve First Edition. The Proto-editions should NOT be considered the "finished book," even though some reviewers have received and written about them when the author and publisher had thought of them as such. As listed below, they contain textual expansions, clarifications and edits advancing by date. The essayto be added here below by the author will discuss her process and the expansions and clarifications to plot, character, philosophical elements and wording over the 40 years of developement. (FORTHCOMING: In Jan 2018, the Wish for Amnesia eBook will be issued, with the photographs in color, and in 2019 the Wish for Amnesia Scholar's and Book Club edition, which will include an exegesis to unveil the quantum structure, foreshadowings, plot clues, jokes, allusions, autiobiographical elements and literary devices.)

18 * 978-1-937739-92-8 Definitive First Edition (aka # Jan 4)
April 15, 2018, 316 pgs, 6x9, Deadly Chaps Press,
FINAL, FINISHED NOVEL, fine print photographs, unlimited copies:

17 * 978-1-937739-92-8 Definitive First Edition # Jan 3 Proto-edition
July 1, 2017, 314 pgs 6x9; Deadly Chaps Press, 20 copies plus reprints:

16 *Wish for Amnesia FRONT COVER 2017 978-1-937739-92-8 Definitive First Edition # Jan 2 Proto-edition
April 1, 2017, 314 pgs 6x9; Deadly Chaps Press, 20 copies plus reprints:
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15 *Wish for Amnesia FRONT COVER 2017 978-1-937739-92-8 Definitive First Edition- # Jan 1 Proto-edition
Jan 1, 2017, 314 pgs 6x9; Deadly Chaps Press, 25 copies plus reprints:
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14 *Wish for Amnesia FRONT COVER 2017 978-1-937739-75-1 / 1937739759 Small Definitive First Edition-Proto-edition
Dec 2016, 312 pgs, 5x8; Deadly Chaps Press, 25 copies plus reprints:

13 * 978-1-937739-83-6 Pink Skin Proto-edition
Sept 2016, 310 pgs, 5x8, Deadly Chaps Press, 300 copies:

12 * 978-1-937739-28-7 Purple Fine Print Proto-edition
Sept 2015, 306 pgs, 5x8, Deadly Chaps Press, 500 copies:

11 * 978-1-937739-66-9 Medium Tan Glossy Proto-edition
April 2015, xxx pgs, 5x8, Deadly Chaps Press, 50 copies plus reprints:
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10 * 978-1-937739-75-1 Light Tan Matte Proto-edition
Dec 2014, xxx pgs, 5x8, Deadly Chaps Press, 50 copies plus reprints:
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9 * 978-1-937739-66-9 White Proto-edition
April 2015, xxx pgs, 5x8, Deadly Chaps Press, 50 copies plus reprints:
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8 * 0-976079-36-4 Black Big-Wasp Comb #3 Proto-edition
Jan 2007, xxx pgs, 6x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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7 *BarbaraRosenthal_WishForAmnesia-CoverBlackBig-WaspComb2006+2007 0-976079-36-4 Black Big-Wasp Comb #2 Proto-edition
Jan 2007, xxx pgs, 6x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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6 *BarbaraRosenthal_WishForAmnesia-CoverBlackBig-WaspComb2006+2007 0-976079-36-4 Black Big-Wasp Comb #1 Proto-edition
Jan 2006, xxx pgs, 6x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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5 * NO ISBN Ola Gray Comb #2 Proto-edition
July 29, 2005, xxx pgs, 5.5x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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4 *BarbaraRosenthal_WishForAmnesia-FrontCoverOla2005NO ISBN Ola Gray Comb #1 Proto-edition
July 1, 2005, xxx pgs, 5.5x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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3 *NO ISBN Ola Blue Comb Proto-edition
June 20, 2005, xxx pgs, 5.5x8.5, Xanadu Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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2 *NO ISBN Sepia Monkeys Saddlestitch Proto-edition
June 1990, 109 pgs, 5.5x8.5, eMediaLoft Literary Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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1 *NO ISBN BW Monkeys Saddlestich Proto-edition
June 1986, 109 pgs, 5.5x8.5, eMediaLoft Literary Press, 10 copies plus reprints:
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And coming soon: essay by author about the 40-year process..



WISH FOR AMNESIA is a modern-day mix of futuristic fable and historical fact that follows six idiosyncratic characters in New York and Rome from 1968-1985, Hippiedom to Halley's Comet. It pivots around Jack Rubin, son of Holocaust resistance workers, who develops a Messianic Complex as he struggles to be as exemplary as his father. Jack rises to great success in a life of politics, anthro-genetics and early computer technology, but is beset by doubt, paranoia and voices in his head. They say he has no right to lead until he has the perfect plan. 

A troubled relationship with Beatrice, a blind, black performance artist, moves him to marry one of her students, Caroline, stunning, but disturbed. Caroline grows up in a dismal little town, her character set by rivalry. Jack becomes a tyrant to his family as he uses his wife for sex and their precocious daughter, Jewel, as his basis for creating a perfect hominid through genetic engineering. 

The artist is named the child’s godmother. She takes Jewel to Rome, where they fall in with a nefarious cabdriver, Toto, who causes several transformations in them both, some good, some harrowing.

Jack desperately strives to fulfill the potential of his father’s sacrificed generation, but when he travels to Rome to bring his daughter home, as he descends a ramp at DaVinci Airport on the day of a historically infamous attack there, he’s killed by someone he knows.

“"…satirical, fantastical, and philosophical….. We see the world…most rivetingly…. readers will find that they can’t take their eyes away. They’ll also sometimes wonder what’s real and what’s not—and exactly what kind of magic might be at work. A celebration of the dysfunctional that will keep readers turning pages."
--Kirkus Reviews
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“ … extraordinary… compelling…how greatness and a perversely grand crassness vie for dominance … [D]ense and minute detail of flora and fauna, coating virtually every action undertaken, by every character, line after line.…much more than the standard picture painting of a diligent novelist’s imagination. It weaves a loom -- veiled to characters, naked to the reader -- of finespun hard-steel cable that conducts unwitting subjects to their mysterious and ineluctable ends, a hermetic prison of fate.
… clinical precision and vertiginous pace combine into one of the most astounding passages of English prose you’ll ever read.… [A] behind-the-lines pattern of interlocking incidents and images with which she has mined the length of the story that both tightens the tale’s unities and throws into question -- despite its profuse, microscopic hyper-naturalism -- the reality of the tale itself…This is the quality that takes “Wish for Amnesia” from the merely brilliant to the root-and-branch reinventive…This well-veiled, richly tapestried infrastructure of “puzzles” … finds few literary precedents…(maybe…Joyce or the postwar nouveau roman French fictionalists)."

--Home Planet News
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"an adventure in language, as well as an entertaining “Siddhartha-type” read…[with] both pleasant and disturbing surprises…likely to touch a responsive chord…. The book is a kaleidoscope of  references to obscure and eclectic subjects…[that are] delightful to experience…. I, for one, thank Joseph Quintela for publishing “Wish For Amnesia,” and I believe many other readers will, too.”
—Mike Foldes, Ragazine
link to full review online
____ link to full review pdf

"The novel Wish for Amnesia is fast-paced, surprising, heart-wrenching and beautiful. It touches the very core of the reader’s soul, [and] will live up to its expectations of…unusual and amazing tidings…[that] weave intrigues for readers…. Barbara Rosenthal’s achievement as author…is exemplary. [She] elevates storytelling to a high note.…[in which] historical moments…beautifully intertwine in a [fictional] storyline [that] will haunt readers for a long time. The tale stands out in its imagery and its tight and gripping plot…. The incredible flow of the novel is not compromised even once! She builds an engrossing journey for each of the six characters and judiciously sees them through a befitting conclusion. Her photographs that accompany each chapter are a boost…. Wish for Amnesia…merits five stars and a read from every book lover around the world.”
—Kleio Bhagwati, Wicked Venom / We Love Quality Books
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“…A very clever, powerful and complex book that demands full attention and careful consideration. This is not a book about good and bad, but a book about the contest between priorities of the mind, priorities of the body and priorities of the soul."
—Angharad Lodwick, Tinted Edges 
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“Rosenthal enjoys toying with the narrative form. A welter of minute real-world detail confines characters and reader inside a moving prison of fate. [Her] characters come of age, start a family, harbor messianic visions, travel, [drive], attend a party, keep journals…[during] points of high physical drama…. The book is making an impact where it counts….”
—Lehman Weichselbaum, Jewish Voice
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"Pynchonesque, sci-fi gospel parable. / An extraordinary cast of characters who shuttle between divinity and depravity, motivated by a blinding vision of perfection. Thought-provoking, beautifully written and fully engaging. Brava!"
—Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Ragazine / Goodreads
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" challenging as it is rewarding.... Rarely have I felt a sense of place as vividly as while reading this story. The same is true of the characters, each of whom is a complex universe on any number of levels.. Truly, this book is a psychoanalyst's dream. The period of the novel--1960s to the mid-80s--is rendered with startling authenticity--and, yes, even humor. Don't expect to like the characters, but be prepared to understand them as if you knew them all your life. Barbara Rosenthal is a master craftswoman--each sentence is a sculptured gem. I am reading the book a second time and am blown away by how much more I'm getting this time around. An awe-inspiring achievement in more ways than I can get into. RUN to get this book. If you find it tiring, you are a person tired of life. And I do not believe I am exaggerating!!!"
—Stanley Hoffman, Amazon
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“…a fable-like fiction… Each episode…is a well-drawn mise-en-scène of the senses…that carr[ies]…the reader through time and place. [The characters] debate philosophies, science, and concepts of time, but they also know or suspect magical manipulations and interference.… The existential seems to have no problem with the magical as the characters acknowledge God, albeit more as a scientist than as omnipotent….This thinking person’s narrative in Wish for Amnesia is complex and folds back on itself even as it moves forward…. The emphasis lands mostly on the questions What is the present? and How does the future happen? Incidents that seemed inconsequential in the beginning…find their moment again later.… But nothing feels like a set up for a punch line…. [I]nner dialogue mixes it up with the sensuality of being present in the world and interacting with others…. I thought of Thomas Mann[’s]…The Magic Mountain (1924) and how time works in the narrative. The marijuana-fueled thought processes and philosophical ciphering of life in Wish for Amnesia is far more high-minded than the characters’ often callous treatment of each other. Does this make them more relatable? Is it possible to relate to this fiction or should one read it as a fabulous folk tale? The bizarre, somewhat magical, occurrences seem to be so weird and yet run-of-the-mill for the characters at the same time. It is a Möbius strip of science and magic.
But the novel is not bleak. It is a tale told by modern stoners in a post-modern world. It is a wild ride, careening through time, space, and levels of reality….
The writing is rich…. The collisions of the characters are mirrored in the jump cuts in scenes and years.… The 1940s prologue provides a backdrop … against which all subsequent generations seem to have gone forward…. The son of the survivors feels it his duty to save the future from a recurrence of that past: to help humanity move on, even if it means creating a different species than human beings through science and technology.…[P]erhaps, really, humans and their fallibilities will always throw an unexpected wrench into the works. Or, perhaps, as the teenaged parents of Jack managed to escape their fate, something happens to inject chaos into everyone’s plans. Wish for Amnesia is well worth reading. Multiple times."

—Pam Kray, Afterimage
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