“Marc Straus has written an astonishing memoir full of humor and hilarity, heart and vision. This year’s sleeper hit, I predict. A must read!”

— Mary Karr
author of The Liars’ Club and Lit



4 Countries


in 31 Categories including:


About the Author

After practicing cancer medicine for over 35 years, Marc opened a contemporary art gallery in New York City. Marc’s art collection is frequently listed among the top collections in the United States. He embarked on yet another successful career as a renowned poet, and now takes on the role of novelist with his personal and inspiring memoir, One-Legged Mongoose.

About the Book

A memoir told by Marc Straus, who grows up on Long Island in the 1950s along with his brother, sister, immigrant Jewish father, and violent but brilliant mother. The book chronicles the complex relationships that shaped him, the challenges of growing up Jewish in post WWII America, and his journey from boyhood to adolescent awareness that he was responsible for his own life.

“Marc Straus’s One-Legged Mongoose is a wry and insightful memoir... A great addition to the lore of New York in the era following WWII.”

—Dan Wakefield, author of New York in the Fifties and Spiritually Incorrect

“The book is a wonder, as close to recovered experience as language can provide, and the title is an apt metaphor for the fearmongering that drives so much of history, then and now.”

—Eleanor Wilner, MacArthur Award-winning author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems

“There are secrets and accidents and illnesses and, most of all, awakenings. It will make readers think about their own journeys.”

—Ari L. Goldman, author of
The Search for God at Harvard

“Because his recall is so remarkably vivid and detailed, and because the young Marc was so keenly aware of the historical and personal violence that shaped his character, the result is a riveting and insightful account of an American Jewish childhood in the shadow of the Great Depression and the Holocaust.”

—Matthew Sharpe, author of Jamestown and The Sleeping Father

Poetry by Marc Straus

Marc Straus Art Gallery

Antonio Santin
Oil on canvas

Chris Jones
Magazine pages on board

Thomas Bangsted
Pigment print

Canvas collage and found objects

Anne Samat
Rattan sticks, kitchen and garden utensils, beads, ceramic, metal and plastic ornaments

Sandro Chia
Oil on canvas

Marie Watt
Reclaimed wool blankets, steel, and cedar

Michael Brown
Oil and gold leaf on canvas