MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

A Talese holiday tradition

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to receive a dust-jacket blurb from one of America’s great writers of nonfiction, Gay Talese. It was a very generous gesture. Turns out, as this story indicates, the generosity of Talese and his book editor wife, Nan, is legendary this time of year in New York City.

Talese’s classic work Unto the Sons remains the quintessential immigration story. He, too, traces his Italian roots to Calabria, and his father, like my grandfather, settled in Cape May County, New Jersey, and started a business that flourished. For Talese’s father, it was a men’s and women’s clothing store in Ocean City. My aunts and uncles were frequent customers.

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