New York, 1987: In a city torn apart by racial tension, Damien Cavalieri is an adolescent without a tribe. His mother-who pines for the 1950s Brooklyn Italian community she grew up in-fears he lacks commitment to his heritage. Damien’s fellow Staten Islanders agree, dubbing him a “fake Italian” and bullying him for being artistic. Complicating matters, his efforts to make friends and date girls outside of the Italian community are thwarted time and again by circumstances beyond his control. When a tragic accident shakes Damien to his core, he begins a journey of self-discovery that will lead him to Italy, where he will learn, once and for all, who he really is.
Marc DiPaolo has written three nonfiction books: Fire and Snow: Climate Fiction from the Inklings to Game of Thrones (2018), War, Politics and Superheroes (2011), and Emma Adapted: Jane Austen’s Heroine from Book to Film (2007). He has appeared in the documentaries Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics (2017) and Geek, and You Shall Find (2019), and is Associate Professor of English at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.