The Act of Contrition & Other Stories

Sep 15, 2023 119

Heinz History Center, 5th floor Mueller Center. 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA. Monday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Free to the public (in-person & virtual). Register here. For additional questions, please email here

Join the Italian American Program during Italian Heritage Month for a free reading with author Joseph Bathanti from his new book, “The Act of Contrition & Other Stories,” from EastOver Press. The book is a series of linked stories and one novella that continues the adventures of Fritz Sweeney and his outrageously memorable parents, Travis and Rita, that began in Bathanti’s earlier award-winning volume of stories, “The High Heart.”

Spanning the mid-1950s to the mid-70s, in an Italian American working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, “The Act of Contrition & Other Stories” celebrates and complicates the operatic glories and tragedies of an offbeat family that fashions from the vault of explosive ancestral secrets its own incendiary mythology.

These 14 unforgettable stories—a mélange of incantatory magical realism and clear-eyed documentary precision (in the vein of Raymond Carver)—are narrated by Fritz in a prophetic voice that issues at once from the very aggregate of steel town Pittsburgh and his deep yearning to escape it.


SOURCE: Heinz History Center

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