Eggplant Alley

The hero of Cataneo’s intensely moving novel is thirteen-year-old Nicky Martini who lives in an apartment complex, known as “Eggplant Alley,” in the Bronx in 1970 and struggles to cope with a changing family, a changing neighborhood, and a changing world. Long-haired hippies, racial tension, and the divisive Viet Nam war leave Nicky longing for the good old days. With Roy overseas for a year, Nicky is left behind with two distracted, worried parents. And for him, enough is enough. He decides to do something about the endless downward spiral of events. He decides to lead a crusade to revive neighborhood stickball, which he is sure will spark a return to all that was innocent and beautiful about the good old days. Before the year without Roy is over, Nicky learns Lester’s secret --- and realizes the destructiveness of prejudice and fear, and the value of empathy and forgiveness. And he ultimately learns there is something far richer than the good old days: real hope for a better future.

D. Cataneo of Durham, NH D.M Cataneo, a native of Yonkers, NY, graduated from Boston University and embarked on a 22-year career in Boston journalism. He currently lives in Durham, NH. where he teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire. Eggplant Alley is his first novel.

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