Richard Cohen

Ecstasy and Distress

Ecstasy and Distress is a historical family saga and romance that spans several generations. The story unfolds as a Jewish immigrant family settles in the busy and growing city of Portland, Maine, in 1840. Here they find many hardships as they confront anti-Semitism, nativism, and adjustment difficulties as they gain acceptance as peddlers and shopkeepers. At that time Jewish men becoming physicians and lawyers parallels the women who faced the same derision in order to become doctors and lawyers as well. The novel thus tells of Jewish marriages and intermarriages that continue to build the family tree. These characters are strong self-assured women and men who reject family dismay as they find love, joy and gain acceptance in their struggle for dignity and honor not only in their chosen professions but within the various families. About the Author: Richard Shain Cohen of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, is originally from Boston. He retired from the University of Maine at Presque Isle after serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of English. He holds B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. Richard served in the military and is a U.S. Army veteran. His own publications include: Fiction—Ecstasy and Distress; Our Seas of and Love; Monday: End of the Week; Be Still, My Soul; and Petal on a Black Bough. Non-fiction---Healing After Dark: Pioneering Compassionate Medicine at the Boston Evening Clinic; The Forgotten Longfellow: Man in the Shadows; Poetry---Only God Can Make a Tree. He also wrote chapters for Aroostook: Land of Promise; academic reviews and articles, and — with the aid of a Shell Grant — a monograph on Samuel Richardson that can be found in major library holdings. He served as editor of the journal Husson Review and was principal participant in a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for “Images of Aroostook” that was exhibited throughout the State of Maine.
474 printed pages
Original publication



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