praise for Vista Del Mar, a memoir of the ordinary

a magnificent memoir…graced by a riveting narrative power, and by nuanced, deeply revelatory, and moving insights

Maurya Simon, author of The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2016

…beautiful prose – better than many far more celebrated writers….handles personal subject matter with perfect unsentimentality and tact. What really stood out was a resonant poignancy, “emptiness” in the positive Buddhist sense, in suburban things so often dismissed as tacky…that, and the sense of “soul work” in recovering the things of one’s past.

Alan Williamson, author of Westernness: A Meditation

…joins the company of “self-work,” deep acts of memory….The book stands alongside the work of D J Waldie’s Holy Land, Joan Didion’s Slouching Toward Bethlehem, and the profound My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Jack Shoemaker, Counterpoint Press


Flawless. A perfect recreation of a Southern California post WW II childhood.

Jane Vandenburgh, author of A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century

Neal writes memoir and photographs,
sometimes together

so that during the writing,
images harmonize with words
as accompaniment, descant, or second line

As John Berger says, “There is never a single approach to something remembered.”