In the heart of Bensonhurst, an Italian American family struggles to survive one explosive day-the nation's Bicentennial.
The Agnello family wakes Bicentennial morning to the sound of fireworks. Outside their apartment, block party preparations are already underway. Paulie, husband and father, has been out on strike with his union and is desperate to make ends meet. Dee, wife and mother, is overprotective of her children and a stern judge of character, particularly when it comes to Paulie. Tony, the dutiful elder son who is fast coming of age, now obsesses over his first girlfriend and stands ready to defy his parents to spend the Fourth with her. Alex, the younger son, still sees the world through innocent eyes, a perspective unlikely to survive the day.
As the neighborhood celebrates, a string of public missteps drives the family apart, forcing each Agnello to face their own insecurities and regrets. At nightfall, the fireworks extravaganza draws the scattered family back together-but celebration soon turns into tragedy, and one life is left hanging in the balance. Funny, dark, and unsentimental, Brooklyn '76 is an urgent family drama set against the backdrop of a working-class neighborhood-and a country-on the brink of transformation.
- Publisher: South Allen Street Press
- Publish Date: Feb 20th, 2024
- Pages: 282
- Language: English
- Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.64in - 0.92lb
- EAN: 9798988581000
- Categories: • Family Life - Siblings• Coming of Age• City Life
About the Author
"Ausiello's piercing debut chronicles one long day in the lives of a down-on-its-luck working-class Italian-American family living in a tight Bensonhurst apartment on July 4, 1976, the date of the nation's much ballyhooed bicentennial . . . Precise, evocative description brings the milieu-and the fraught dynamics-to vivid life . . . An accomplished, impressive debut." -BookLife Reviews
"A master of foreshadowing . . . I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys family dramas with sharp edges and a vein of humor running through them. Ausiello is a fresh, intriguing voice on the literary scene." -Manhattan Book Review
"A story as strong in its portraits of siblings and families on the cusp of change as it is in capturing a national milieu (that comes home to roost) in the community and culture of Brooklyn, New York . . . In Brooklyn '76, firecrackers and explosions both dominate the story and serve as a backdrop of metaphors for the equally powerful surges in relationships that are tested by legal and illegal choices . . . readers seeking books steeped in the atmospheres of Brooklyn in the late 1970s and an Italian-American family whose history faces new modern challenges will find Brooklyn '76 an evocative story that brings these times and characters to vivid life." -Midwest Book Review
"Literal and emotional fireworks explode throughout the pages of this original and rousing novel." -Walter Cummins, author of Local Music and Seeking Authenticity