“The American dream deferred...but you will never forget Maria.” A true story of love, loss and recovery which chronicles a mother's process of mourning after losing her only child, the beautiful and charismatic Maria, to a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-three. "Swish" transcends any other book ever written about addiction due to the author's eloquent and inimitable writing style; a style that masterfully speaks to every aspect of the human condition through its powerful imagery, deftly defining unconditional love, strength and hope. The book cover showcases Maria's maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Daniel Palmer on their wedding day: January 26th, 1946, as her grandfather (a master sergeant in the U.S. Army, having landed in Normandy on D-Day, and serving a total of thirty-one years in the military) seems to hold his twenty-three year-old bride as if knowing their time together will end all too soon. Maria's grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of forty-one. In the foreground, on the same dance floor are Maria and her beloved boyfriend, Frankie; although seemingly poised as the golden couple, they unknowingly duplicate the same foreshadowing embrace; thus, a portrait of the American dream deferred.
"Then it was Sunday, and still November. She called me and asked me to bring her some food. She told me where she was: the section of town where the human rats live. I got there and pulled over. She walked across the street to my car. I hardly recognized her. Her hair was up...all matted and dirty...her skin was so pale...her green eyes had no luster at all. She had no expression and was wearing a tan and plaid bum's coat. I promised myself I would stay calm: not scream or yell or cry, or tell her to get in the car like I did so many times before. I handed her the food...but I broke. I broke all the way down to my birth to my own death. I broke from my stomach to my heart to my soul. My lungs collapsed and changed places with my throat. I broke everywhere...and was all over breaking...never to be whole again."
About Pamela Palmer Mutino
Pamela Palmer Mutino’s -S-W-I-S-H: Maria in the Mourning was also performed as a staged reading in March, 2007, and received stellar reviews due to its universal appeal which courageously deals with every aspect of the human condition...an emotional and literary masterpiece. As a playwright she has produced five plays: Pump and Circumstance, The Off Season, Lawnmower, A Horse Named Jack, There’s Coldcuts If You Want ‘Em, and has written numerous skits for The Village Players theater troupe’s many cabaret productions. Other performance pieces include three children’s plays: Old New York, Lemonade Stand, and Mr. Ice Cream. Her poetry has been published in The Poet and The American Poetry Anthology. The American Poetry Association awarded her poem, “Attempted,” a first place prize in its nationwide contest in 1984. She has a B.A. in Literature and Theater (magna cum laude) and an M.A.T. in Secondary English Education, both from Manhattanville College where she was also the recipient of The Margaret Williams Award for Literary Criticism for her paper: Moll and Tom: The Forgotten Children in Eighteenth Century Literature. A writing teacher for the Port Chester Council for the Arts for the last twenty-five years, she has taught poetry, creative writing, journalism and every component of the language arts curriculum to students of all ages. She lives in Port Chester, New York with her husband, Peter, where she enjoys her passion for “preserving a lost elegance,” through decorating, entertaining and gardening.