Gloucester’s George Rosen has lived a life as varied as the short stories he has written.
The Chicago-born writer was educated at Harvard, became a Peace Corps volunteer, worked as a political speechwriter, a high-school debate coach, a low-income-housing consultant and — for about six weeks — a semiprofessional actor.
He even attended Harvard Law School for a month and a half before changing paths because his passion was writing and traveling.
That wasn’t the first time he made a major about-face.
As a college student, he landed a coveted janitor’s union job at Marina City Towers in Chicago, but walking back home from the interview, “after contemplating a summer facing a 65-story building with a bucket and mop,” he walked into the office of a Democratic senatorial reelection campaign to volunteer, and ended up as a paid press aide.
Rosen’s recently published book “The Immanence of God in the Tropics” featuring seven stories — one recently was purchased by the Storyville app — is a mosaic of topics.
The book title comes from the last story in the collection, and will be presented at the reading next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Harbor Room in East Gloucester. The event, sponsored by the Gloucester Writers Center and The Bookstore of Gloucester, is free and open to the public.
The book received a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” this fall and — due to the several stories set in Africa or Mexico — was also named by that magazine as one of the “Top Ten Travel Books for Fall 2012.”
His early travels left an indelible mark on Rosen, who has lived on Cape Ann for more than 30 years. He worked in Kenya with the Peace Corps from 1968-1970, and this experience would serve as the setting for his 1990 novel “Black Money” (Scarborough House), which received positive reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.