More About the Author
Roland Merullo was born in Boston and raised in the working-class city of Revere, Massachusetts. He had a scholarship to Exeter Academy and graduated in 1971, attended Boston University for two years, transferred to Brown and graduated from Brown in 1975, then earned a Master's there--in Russian Studies-- in 1976. Roland has published twelve novels and seven books of non-fiction, and given talks at hundreds of universities, schools, bookstores, and other venues. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife Amanda and their two daughters. He can be reached via his website: RolandMerullo.com. or at Roland@RolandMerullo.com
Merullo has a new novel out: Dinner with Buddha follows the cast of characters from Breakfast with Buddha and Lunch with Buddha as they make another hilarious, spiritually uplifting road trip across the American west. The paperback version will be out in April, 2016.
He's also recently come out with a small book on golf etiquette, The Ten Commandments of Golf Etiquette, which is perfect for those who are new to the game and want to master the complicated dance that is on-course behavior.
Also recently available from PFP is The Return. A thrilling sequel to Revere Beach Boulevard, it follows the lives of a circle of people who are linked by one man's addiction.
His humorous travel memoir, Taking the Kids to Italy, is a light read that tells the story of a disastrous family trip to Italy. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did go wrong, from illness to cold houses, but Merullo shines the light of laughter on all of it and creates a story that will appeal to armchair travelers and to any family that has met with vacation challenges.
PFP has recently reissued The Italian Summer, a memoir of a summer Merullo's family spent at Lake Como. With lush descriptions of meals and portraits of various characters (and various golf adventures) this book belongs on the shelf with Taking the Kids to Italy.
His novel, Vatican Waltz, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the five best books of 2013 on the subject of religion. It tells the intriguing story of a young Catholic woman who believes she is being called by God to become a parish priest. Provocative without being irreverent, this book dovetails nicely with the changes being initiated by Pope Francis.
He's also the "as told to" writer of John DiNatale's memoir, The Family Business, which is the story of DiNatale's decades as a Boston private eye. Full of anecdotes both personal and professional, The Family Business provides an inside look into a profession that TV shows always get wrong.
Still available in various formats (including a collector's edition) is Merullo's 2012 novel, Lunch with Buddha, the long-awaited sequel to Breakfast with Buddha. Lunch with Buddha details a road trip from Washington State to North Dakota with the same wonderful characters as its predecessor. In a Starred Review, Kirkus Magazine called it, "a beautifully written and compelling story about a man's search for meaning that earnestly and accessibly tackles some well-trodden but universal questions. A quiet meditation on life, death, darkness and spirituality, sprinkled with humor, tenderness and stunning landscapes." Lunch with Buddha recently went into a fourth printing and will soon be available--like Breakfast and Dinner-- in audio format.
For more details go to LunchwithBuddha.com or Roland Merullo's FaceBook page or website.
His best-selling novel, Breakfast with Buddha, has gone into its 19th printing and has sold over 200,000 copies. Like Golfing with God before it, and American Savior after it, Breakfast with Buddha treats questions of philosophy/spirituality from a multi-denominational viewpoint and with a healthy dose of humor. The novel has become a favorite with book clubs all over the country. It was based on an actual trip Merullo took from New York to North Dakota, most of it in the company of his wife and daughters. Another novel, Golfing with God, has just been re-optioned for film by Gemfilms. And American Savior has also just been optioned for film.
His Alex Award-winning 2011 novel, The Talk-Funny Girl, now out in paperback, is the story of a teenage girl in rural New Hampshire who escapes an abusive home life in a most unusual way. It follows a theme that can be found in almost all Merullo's books: a person overcoming some past trauma, whether that be the stress of war, illness, divorce, addiction, or early abuse.
The Alex Awards are given by the Young Adult Library Services Association to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Several old favorites--Leaving Losapas, A Russian Requiem, Passion for Golf, Revere Beach Boulevard, and Revere Beach Elegy, have just been reissued from AJAR Contemporaries, in print form and as e-books. AJAR has also brought out Roland's small book of writing advice, Demons of the Blank Page. Roland does a bit of private editing and ghostwriting and runs workshops based on this book at libraries and other venues. Watch his FaceBook page for news of these workshops or go to RolandMerullo.com and sign up for his monthly newsletter.