Dervishes is about a lesbian physicist named Carolyn and her journey to becoming a lesbian and a woman physicist in the midst of the women's rights movements of the 70s and 80s. This journey takes her from the St. Cloud Minnesota to Seattle, Washington, from a lover named Philip to a lover named Stephanie. Treating serious, controversial, and poignant topics with wisdom, poise, and humor, Carolyn sorts out her place in the world. Starkman captures with almost impossible eloquence the complexities of being a lesbian and an academic in a formative time in the United States' civil rights history.
Neal Starkman has been a writer all his life. He’s written or developed novels, short stories, political essays, educational programs, songs, scripts, books, games, simulations, workshops, flyers, jokes, slogans, bumper stickers, and even shopping lists. His Ph.D. dissertation explored why many people don’t complain—why they tolerate situations that they think are unfair or otherwise wrong.
Neal has written for audiences ranging from kindergarteners to directors of information technology programs to parents to members of organizations of all kinds. Virtually all of his work has focused on making complex issues clear and engaging in an attempt to improve the human condition.
Neal is the owner of a company, Flashpoint Development, which specializes in innovative health education. He has helped to develop numerous materials in the field of health education, including comprehensive curricula in drug education, HIV/AIDS prevention, violence prevention, cancer, and peer helping. He has also written several books that promote Developmental Assets™ for young people.
Neal has been a resident of Seattle since 1975. He lives there with his wife, Chris, and son, Cole.