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Diana Sperrazza presents My Townie Heart
September 21, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Join author Diana Sperrazza for a discussion of her new novel My Townie Heart in the Library’s Marc Jacobs Reading Room on Saturday, September 21 at 2:00 pm.
My Townie Heart is a class conscious, psychologically-driven story of loss and transformation told from the inside by its main character, Laura DiStefano. Set in a blue collar town in Massachusetts, the story follows Laura after she flunks out of college just as the counterculture reaches its peak on campus in the Seventies. Laura reluctantly returns home to a family reeling with the social changes of the times and its own troubled past. Laura’s younger sister Jane survived a devastating assault as a child and it is this trauma that resurfaces as both sisters hurl towards impending adulthood.
Laura proceeds to get a job at a coffee shop and a sexy boyfriend from town as she tries to figure out her next move. But returning home is hardly a refuge. Made painfully aware of her class background at college, she’s already been changed; she no longer belongs entirely to the place she is from or anywhere else. Laura develops agoraphobia as a symptom of her escalating uncertainty. After failing at her first attempt to leave home, will the world beyond ever feel safe enough again? What parts of her sister Jane’s issues are hers to share or leave behind? Laura must enter into the crucible of her own heart’s divided loyalties if she is to make her way out of the dark and into a new life.
From the Author: I am the eldest daughter of an alcoholic family and was raised in a blue-collar neighborhood in West Springfield, Massachusetts. I wrote My Townie Heart as a way of coming to terms with where I am from and to expose what a lie it is, when we are told that class doesn’t matter.
My coming of age was harsh and full of contradictions that would take me many years to understand. I lacked confidence and stability but was full of an almost preternatural drive towards something, I just didn’t know what. In and out of college for many years, I waitressed, cleaned houses and made various forays into the counterculture until I moved to New Mexico and discovered journalism.
I settled in Washington, D.C. where I spent nearly thirty years working in TV news and nonfiction television production. I currently live in New York City and work as a senior executive producer for Investigation Discovery, a crime channel. I am also a grateful member of St. Marks in the Bowery, an Episcopal church in the East Village.