The Act of Contrition & Other Poems by Joseph Bathanti
EastOver Press, July 2023
The Act of Contrition by Joseph Bathanti 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-fifties to the mid-seventies, in an Italian American working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, these fourteen 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.
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