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Speed My Way Up: A Conversation with Author Kristin Pitanza

  • NYPL - St. George Library Center 5 Central Avenue Staten Island, NY, 10301 United States (map)

Many Staten Islanders lament the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964 as the end of a golden age for the bucolic, pastoral, and sparsely populated borough of New York City. Farmland and lush forests gave way to suburban tract housing and cookie-cutter two-family homes as families from the other boroughs swarmed in by the thousands. Kristin Pitanza weaves a deeply personal tapestry in the four stories included in Speed My Way Up. Drawing from the island's rich but largely unknown history, the stories provide a rare glimpse into this transitional period. Staten Island is not merely a backdrop for the characters--it is a character itself, its story imbued in every word printed here. The Island's rapid transit system provides the backdrop for a tale of two young thieves and a disillusioned young woman trying to make their way up in the world. The Frank Lloyd Wright House is the setting for a mysterious man involved with two young sisters. Mike and Mary, two newly wed cops, suffer the consequences of their profession, and an adolescent girl finds herself in a series of life lessons that lead her to a different path life.

Kristin Pitanza has been an educator at multiple higher educational institutions for well over a decade. Her passion lies heavily in teaching New York City Youth. She is a native New Yorker and enjoys writing about her hometown, Staten Island. Kristin also takes a large interest in adolescent development and literacy while helping students develop writing skills through the scaffolding of grammar to written text. Kristin has a Masters Degree from the Teachers College at Columbia University.

She has recently received a Grant from Staten Island Arts to complete her first book titled “Speed My Way Up.” The book is a compilation of four short stories that all take place in Staten Island, New York.

Earlier Event: January 9
Women, Welding, and Wine!
Later Event: January 11
Projectivity presents: B.U.I.L.D.