#GuestDayTuesday – Antoinette Truglio Martin

Today, I’d like you good folks to help me welcome Antoinette Truglio Martin to the Write Stuff. This is her first visit with us, but I hope it won’t be her last. And, without further ado, I’ll let  Antoinette tell you more about who she is and what she’s written.

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Thank you, Marcia. The heart of the Becoming America’s Stories series came from my grandmother and her sisters telling and retelling their stories at the dinner table or in the kitchen. Stories grew from each teller, and time shifted perspective and facts. My grandmother, the eldest, was born in Sicily and immigrated with her mother across the ocean in steerage. She was perhaps two years old when she arrived and met her father for the first time in 1905. The family lived in the Lower East Side tenements on Manhattan Island. Four American daughters were soon born to the family. My grandma spent her crowded childhood in three-room flats on Mott Street and Mulberry Street.

My grandmother and her sisters had many heated argu—er—reminiscent sessions around the table, hashing out the early family history years. Their mama, my Great Grandma, was at the center, happily stirring pots adding to the commotions in bursts of Sicilian. Many of Grandma’s stories revolved around the wrongs and trespasses acted against her. The sisters had their own spin and burdens. Forgiveness may have been possible, but no one ever forgot. I hated the high-pitched hollering and the hand-slapping on the table. But the stories were so fantastic, I quietly stuck around, listened (never daring to say a word even as an adult) and remembered. 

There were few artifacts to verify the stories of their life in the tenements. Photographs during those early American years were scarce. There were no diaries or stacks of letters to browse through. Except for a few pieces of jewelry, sentimental items that were once cherished disappeared from bureau drawers. That side of the family did not like clutter.

The Heart of Bakers and Artists and The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers are not factual accounts. Lines of truth and lore blurred as I wrote. I brought in essences and facts from other family stories to define the characters and bring the reader into the scenes. I also fell into amazing rabbit holes of historical data and stories while researching details. The first two decades of the 20th century established so many foundations that created the American history and American life we know today. History did not happen at one moment and was not the consequence of one person’s actions. Previous events, policies, and fate set up the remembered time and place and inspired a few to stand out from the crowd.

New York City’s Lower East Side in 1911 was an incredible time of reformation and progress that affected newly arrived immigrants and generations of Americans.

I became fascinated by the way children interacted with adults and children of different cultures, went to school, and adapted the traditions and expectations of their Old World heritage.

Children of the early 20th century had incredible responsibilities in caring for each other and journeying through indifference, bigotry, and disasters. Not all were lucky to navigate through a nurturing childhood. Many bore emotional and physical scars that festered throughout their lifetimes. Little kids working in dangerous factories or selling chewing gum or newspapers on the streets, scrounged for their daily bread and a safe place to sleep. There were many stories of despair and bad luck, as well as accounts of triumph and kindness. Despite and because of their circumstances, many spun their American life to pass on better circumstances for their children and generations to come. They made America. These stories feel familiar while witnessing the plights and hardships of 21st century immigrant youngsters.

My historical fiction novels feature the stories of how my family made their America and the factual accounts of how children played, forged friendships, and survived in the Lower East Side tenement neighborhoods. The inspiring recollections resonate in today’s playgrounds, classrooms, and around family tables. You may recognize the similarities in your stories.


Buy  The Heart of Bakers and Artists HERE 
And wherever books are sold.

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The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off. Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but now must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game. The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers launched on October 25, 2021 and is available at Amazon and wherever books are sold.


Buy The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers  HERE
And wherever books are sold
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Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories is a companion book to the Becoming America’s series. The book features recollections and reflections around food and some favorite recipes. Take a tour of my family’s kitchens.

Buy Becoming American’s Food Stories HERE

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Author Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin is a speech therapist and special education teacher by training but really wants to be a writer when she grows up. She has been collecting and writing stories forever. Over the years Antoinette had been a regular columnist in local periodicals and had several essays featured in newsletters and literary reviews.

Antoinette’s popular children’s picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup was published in 1993 (Albert Whitman Co.). Antoinette’s memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer (She Writes Press 2017), chronicles her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient.

Buy Hug Everyone You Know HERE

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You can find Antoinette on Social Media Here:

Facebook 
Twitter      
Instagram  

eMail :     storiesserved@gmail.com

 

53 thoughts on “#GuestDayTuesday – Antoinette Truglio Martin

  1. Antoinette, your history sounds so similar to mine. My grandparents came from Calabria (not Sicily) and settled in Pittsburgh (not NY), but the rest is so familiar to me. In fact, my mother’s middle name is Antoinette! You’re the only other person I’ve ever “met” with that name. It’s so nice to see this heritage not only preserved, but celebrated. Wishing you much success.

    Thanks, Marcia. 💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re welcome, Staci. I had a feeling there would be some visitors today who’d be especially interested in Antoinette’s history. Her books sound wonderful, don’t they? Hope a lot of folks will head over to Amazon to check them out.

      Thanks for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t pronounce my name with a /tw/ (an twah net) . It more Brooklyn-ese (an tah net). Does your mom have a Pittsburgh pronounciation?

      Like

      • She pretty much avoids saying it at all. Her name is VERY long and Italian (Carmella Antoinette). But she married a Smith, so she got off easy there. I’d say the syllable softly rhymes with “coin” if she has to say it, but she kind of slurs it all together in a rush.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: #guestdaytuesday at The Write Stuff – Stories Served Around The Table

  3. Hi Antoinette,
    I’m enjoying reading Hug Everyone You Know! It’s a personal story of course, and as a member of a memoir writing group, I’m curious how you were able to share your story so courageously in print. I know we as a group edit out things that we don’t want to share outside class (we will be publishing a compilation in 2022). Editing memoir is such a tricky thing, but you do it so well and clearly with love. We’ve had a cancer journey in our home too but it is not my story to tell. Again, such courage and honesty and resilience is greatly admired. And so important to break the stigmas attached to cancer!
    Thank you,

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really enjoyed sharing Antoinette’s stories with you folks today, Jan, and it was a pleasure to have her. I think the entire concept is intriguing and fun, and hope a lot of readers will head on over to Amazon to check out her books!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a moment to let her know you liked her post! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So lovely to hear from Antoinette about her past, inspiration, and books, Marcia. I love the idea of her family members arguing about the facts of the past. That happens so frequently in families. It’s a phenomena. Thanks for the introduction, Marcia, and congrats to Antoinette on the gorgeous books.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice getting to know you, The story of your family sitting around the table was reminiscent of my childhood. People gathered at the kitchen table to visit and talk about the past. There wasn’t much arguing, but reminiscing. I cherish those memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 5th November 2021 – #Guests – Robbie Cheadle with Frank Prem, Marcia Meara with Antoinette Truglio Martin, C.S. Boyack with Staci Troilo, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    • So glad you enjoyed them, Sarah. I thought they sounded charming and was very happy to have Antoinette visit us to tell us more about her stories.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a moment to comment! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the interview, and introducing to this wonderful book, Marcia. I really love firsthand information about history. Especially stories about people who emigrated to the so called “New World”. I will go closer to this book, and wish you a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you enjoy checking out Antoinette’s stories, Michael. I was really impressed by the things she shared with us regarding how the books came into being.

      Hope you have a beautiful weekend, too! 😀 ❤

      Like

    • Thanks, Robbie. I was delighted to share Antoinette’s books with everyone. I thought they sounded charming and hope lots of new readers are taking a look at them. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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