Release Date: February 14, 2020
About The Book :
Set in the Bronx in 1960, IF ANYONE ASKS, SAY I DIED FROM THE HEARTBREAKING BLUES is an evocative and beautifully told literary coming of age novel about Joey “Hunt” Hunter, whose senior prom and 18th birthday fall on the same night. Hunt hopes for an epic evening with his big crush, Debby, but she has already moved on, attaching herself to Sal, head of a local gang called the Brandos. Disappointed and still grieving the death of his little brother, Hunt scrambles to spare others from gang violence, escape it himself, and come to terms with his losses. He’s aided by two dear friends—ten- year-old Augie, an African American neighbor often left to fend for himself and ready to help others, and Johnnie Jay, an oddball friend from school. But Hunt may find support from someone new as well, if the night holds any magic at all, because there is a mysterious new girl who appears everywhere he goes that evening.
This is a bittersweet, comic, and hopeful novel—told by a young narrator that every reader will want to champion.
About The Author:
PHILIP CIOFFARI grew up in the Bronx. He is the author of the novels: CATHOLIC BOYS; DARK ROAD, DEAD END; JESUSVILLE; THE BRONX KILL; and the story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt First Fiction Prize, and the D.H. Lawrence Award. His stories have appeared widely in anthologies, literary journals and commercial magazines. He wrote and directed the independent feature film, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, which won a number of film festival awards, including Best Picture at the Long Island International Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Film & Video Festival. He is a professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Find him online at http://www.philipcioffari.com/ .
“…it’s clear that both Hunt and the author relish the milieu, and the book drips with a sincere nostalgia for the time and place. It’s a short novel at just over 150 pages, and it in no sense overstays its welcome, pressing forward continuously…”—Kirkus Reviews
“…[a] delightful tragicomedy….Cioffari’s general tone in this rollicking coming-of-age story is one of affectionate nostalgia. But there’s poetry and history too. Set in Cioffari’s native Bronx, the novel captures a lost world brought back to life by a diverse cast of quintessential New Yorkers, circa 1960. Dialogue snaps. Scenes blossom. Pictures flash before our eyes. It’s no surprise to learn that Cioffari is an award-winning filmmaker as well as a fiction writer. So really the only question that remains is … when’s the movie coming out?”—Historical Novels Review
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