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by Hesh Kestin
He had finished his first [novel], Small Change, when he was 23, and it was bought and slated for publication until he balked at changing the title to Season of Lust. The book was never published, nor were the next three. Eventually, as he puts it, “the noise of the hungry bellies of my kids used to keep me up at night.” So he got a real job, this time as a war correspondent—for, as it turned out, Newsday.
Shoeshine Cats is admirable in part for its tinge of the improbable, its impossible suavité and secret rooms. Kestin catches us up in a gritty enchantment.