Fiction. THEY SAY is a novel about a working-class, first-generation Italian family living in the Boston area in the first half of the 20th century, centering on the family's struggles over oldest brother Louie, whose early artistic genius and political passions deteriorate into delusion and severe mental illness. Narrated by various siblings in this sprawling family, their stories have the intimacy and drama of a conversation told around the kitchen table—and like any living, breathing family tale, the brothers' and sisters' stories intersect, run parallel, contradict each other, fill in each other's gaps. Theirs are stories of love and luck, as well as poverty, death, illness, and domestic abuse.
Joseph Torra is the author of numerous novels and books of poetry. Titles include Gas Station, Tony Luongo, My Ground, The Bystander's Scrapbook, AFTER THE CHINESE, CALL ME WAITER, and WHAT'S SO FUNNY. He published lift magazine in the early 1990s, and served on the editorial board at Pressed Wafer Press. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife and daughters. Besides TIME BEING and WHAT IT TAKES, he has also published a novel, THEY SAY, and a prose poetry collection, Watteau Sky,with Quale Press. Author City: SOMERVILLE, MA USA