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About Harley

Harley Dresner grew up in Plainview, New York. A midsize town in the middle of Long Island, Plainview’s culture and his nuclear family’s specific subculture provided the foundation for many of the anecdotes Harley included in Mishegas. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He also left Albert Einstein with a marriage license, meeting Elyse during orientation and marrying her four years later. After medical school, Harley completed surgical residency training in Otolaryngology and fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Minnesota.

He resides in Minneapolis with Elyse and his two children, Daphne and Zachary. Harley is an Assistant Professor of Facial Plastic Surgery and Co-Director of the fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Serving as one of the physicians for the Minnesota Wild professional hockey team and sitting on multiple national committees within the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery compliment his clinical practice of medicine.

To date, Harley has authored eight peer-reviewed journal articles and five book chapters in the medical literature. Mishegas represents his first foray into the realm of popular non-fiction. It has unquestionably proved to be the most enjoyable literary effort of his life.


About Mishegas

Senseless behavior—that’s mishegas. According to Harley Dresner, it means life with overbearing, obstreperous, melodramatic parents and a pugilistic, caffeine-addicted, octogenarian uncle. Blend Jerry Seinfeld’s and Raymond Barone’s parents together. The result is the Vesuvian mess that Dresner calls his family. Social graces are callously thrown to the Las Vegas desert wind when Gerry and Uncle Bernard offend everyone from hotel receptionists to street hookers in chapters like “Even Leona Helmsley Would Have Apologized” and “Henry Ford Would Have Had a Stroke.” Along the way, flashbacks to Dresner’s past provide decades of head-banging material as he goes “Wasting Away in Geriatricville.” Restaurant etiquette ends up with food scraps in the dumpster when blind patrons are unabashedly insulted. Doctoring for sport becomes a new American pastime through obsessions with colonoscopies and wars waged against mucous and phlegm.

Dresner’s unmistakable, take-no-prisoners sarcasm and wit shine through this dysfunctional Cruise to Nowhere. His memoir is a fresh, laugh-out-loud study of life-long relationships that proves one can embrace familial roots while maintaining perspective—and sanity.

Readers will revel in the uncomfortable, squirming circumstances in which a family routinely embroils a child. Anyone who wouldn’t dream of running away from the family they would love to escape understands Mishegas.