Carl Capotorto reads from Twisted Head: An Italian American Memoir (Broadway Books, 2008)

Twisted Head is a witty and poignant memoir of a young man growing up in a working-class Italian-American family in the Bronx during the 1960s and 1970s. Author and actor Carl Capotorto describes a cast of New York characters that include customers at his family’s pizzeria, public school teachers and mates, parish priests and nuns, and neighborhood residents. Capotorto’s father is a loving yet obsessive and controlling patriarch who concocts grand schemes for developing his pizza parlor and renovating his house to the dismay of all the family members. Out of youth’s frustration and anger, Capotorto emerges not only as a grounded adult but also as a gifted writer.

Twisted Head is a memorable portrait of a sweet and awkward boy growing up on the sometimes mean streets of the Bronx, struggling with his imposing father, brutal peers, inattentive teachers, and his own sexual identity. Not since Mario Puzo’s novel The Fortunate Pilgrim, have readers been treated to such a sweet and sour tale of growing up Italian-American and of coming to appreciate the sturdy rock that is family.”

—Ken Auletta, author of Backstory: Inside the Business of News