Live @ MTM: Nick Chiarkas in Conversation with Doug Moe

Wednesday, October 05th

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover for Nunzio's Way

About the book

Nunzio drifted back to his childhood there on the Lower East Side. The narrow, trash-lined streets and alleys weaved together decaying brownstone tenements with common toilets—one per floor. Alone at ten years old after his mother died, he learned to survive in one of the most notorious neighborhoods in the city. He shoveled coal and guarded the produce stored there by the ships docked off South Street, to pay for living in the cellar at 57 Canon Street. After school, Nunzio mostly walked the streets. He recalled the putrid smell of decomposing cats and dogs covered with a trembling blanket of insects, rats, and things he didn’t recognize. And lying in the gutter against the sidewalk on Pike Street was a horse, with old and fresh whip wounds, shrouded in a cloak of flying and crawling insects. Only three years later at the ripe age of thirteen Nunzio killed his first man, a hulking longshoreman people called “the bear.” His life and the lives of four of his friends changed forever. Plenty of other horrors and hardships confronted him throughout his life, but when he closed his eyes, Nunzio saw the horse.

 

Nick Chiarkas

About the author

Nick Chiarkas grew up in the Al Smith housing projects in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When he was in the fourth grade his mother was told by the principal of PS-1 that, “Nick was unlikely ever to complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation.”  

Instead, Nick became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a U.S. Army Paratrooper (101st Airborne Division); a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; the Deputy Chief Counsel and Research Director for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way he picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard.

How many mothers are told that their children are hopeless? How many kids with potential simply surrender to despair? That’s why Nick wrote Weepers and Nunzio’s Way — for them.