Lester Doodle, an archetypal innocent American teenager, escapes from a mental institution in upstate New York and flees to Manhattan where he hopes to find personal freedom and liberation from his intense feelings of insecurity and loneliness. The narrative of his comic, perilous, and often deeply affecting adventures—told through a series of letters between Lester and his doting and eccentric mother, Gertrude Doodle, who lives in the fictional upstate town of East Canolysville, New York—includes universal themes of class struggle and young love, as well as the profound and emotionally challenging experiences of confronting homophobia, ethnic and racial prejudice, and the painful complexities of wounded soldiers’ heroism and self-sacrifice contrasted with the ultimate insanity and senselessness of war.
PATRICK MORELLI, a graduate of Duke and Syracuse Universities and an Exhibiting Artist Member of the National Arts Club, is an internationally acclaimed artist and architectural designer. In The Doodle Letters Morelli reveals, and revels in, the wisdom and folly, the triumph and the heartbreak of the human comedy gained from his experiences and observations living and working in Manhattan and throughout the United States and Europe. Lester Doodle, his friend, Louie Garibaldi, and Ma Gertrude Doodle herself, the author admits, are often thinly disguised personas of himself based on his own foibles and fantasies, and his love of, and fascination with, the comic spectrum of human life and its daily challenges and absurdities.