In this collection of linked stories, Michael Angrosino imaginatively re-creates the Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where he grew up in the 1950s. This working-class ethnic enclave was in a state of flux; seemingly timeless verities were being challenged as a younger generation prepared for the great dispersion to the middle-class suburbs. Angrosino's stories are built around vivid neighborhood characters making their way through the joys, sorrows, and confusions of everyday life in a community that was soon to vanish. Meet: Ike, the embittered candystore owner who comes to grief when he tries to arrange a marriage for a long-lost relative; Sadie, the whimsical bag-lady who somewhat improbably pines to settle down; Pally, the tormented boxer who destroys his sister's happiness; Mattie, the optimistic good samaritan desperately trying to extricate himself from the coils of an ancient family vendetta; Sammy T., the undertaker with "connections"; Old Man Conforti, the dying pigeon racer; the Del Lagos, the world's most hopeless streetcorner doo-wop group-and many more. In good Italian fashion, these stories deal with sin and redemption, but with plentiful helpings of good music and delicious food.
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