Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of The New York Times best-seller Sleepers, will launch the 2003-04 Center for the Humanities Writers Series.
Carcaterra will host two events while at the University. At 8 p.m. Sept. 22, he will read from his work in Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 202. And at 4 p.m. Sept. 23, he will lead a seminar and audience discussion on the craft of writing in McMillan Café, McMillan Hall, Room 115.
Sleepers — which was made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver and Jason Patric — tells the true story of four childhood friends from New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, where Carcaterra was raised.
When a prank goes horribly wrong, the boys are sentenced to a juvenile home in upstate New York, where they endure brutal beatings and other humiliations at the hands of sadistic guards. As adults, however, the four are reunited to exact dramatic, baroquely realized courtroom vengeance.
“(Carcaterra) writes with the passion of Styron, the guts of Mailer and the sting of James M. Cain,” said noted author William Diehl.
Carcaterra’s most recent novel, Street Boys, was inspired by another true story — the struggle, during the fall of 1943, of a ragtag army of children to prevent German forces from destroying the city of Naples, Italy.
“I wanted to write a war novel that related to Italians in a heroic way,” Carcaterra said. “If you grow up Italian-American, and you watch all the war movies, we do one of two things — we surrender or we run.
“This was one of the few stories where we do neither. In fact, we not only fight, we win, which appealed to me. That it involved children forced at an early age to act like adults interested me.”
Carcaterra began writing as a reporter for The New York Daily News in 1976. He has worked with numerous magazines and remains a regular contributor to Details and The National Geographic Traveler.
Carcaterra has also worked extensively in television, with credits including the NBC pilot Rounders, the WB network film The Force and four seasons as managing editor of the CBS series Top Cops. His work for the big screen includes screenplays for Dreamer, Doubt and Street Boys.
He is a writer and producer for NBC’s Law & Order.
Carcaterra is married with two children and lives in New York City.
The events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by The Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences (formerly the International Writers Center in Arts & Sciences). Copies of Carcaterra’s works will be available for purchase and a book-signing and reception will follow each program.
For more information, call 935-5576.