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

Archive for May, 2009

It’s hot

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

News reports out of Rome say: “Italy is bracing for a sizzling weekend and health alerts have been issued for 19 cities due to the unusually high heat and humidity. The country currently finds itself at the center of a high pressure system which is ushering hot and sand-filled air from the Sahara.”

Among the cities suffering the most: level 2 alerts for Catania, Messina, Reggio Calabria and Venice – while the highest ‘level 3′ alert has been issued for Florence, Latina, Perugia and Rome.

When I was in Reggio three summers ago during June, it didn’t rain once and the temperature routinely topped 100 degrees.

Shipping June 16

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

With the paperback version of My Cousin the Saint printed and being shipped to stores, I’m happy to provide this link on Amazon to where you can order your very own copy! Orders will ship in mid June. I would love to hear your thoughts on the new cover design and subtitle (posted below). Tell your friends!

First anniversary

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

One year ago today, My Cousin the Saint was released across the United States and in Canada. It was a pretty thrilling day, and has been a very gratifying year. I’ve had the opportunity to give more than three dozen radio and newspaper interviews, had an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, stories published in Catholic and Italian-American magazines and have made more than 60 book talks to groups in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and in New York City.

And through this web site, I’ve received heartwarming notes from readers across the country (and a few farther than that). The book has even connected me with Catanoso relatives I had never met before in the United States, Argentina and Brazil (Thiago Catanoso of Sao Paolo even visited me in NC last summer!). I am enormously pleased that my story of faith, family and miracles has resonated with so many people.

With the paperback due out in about a month, I am hopeful it reaches even more. Thank you all for reading and being in touch.

Coming to South Jersey

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

My Cousin the Saint
Jim Vanore, staff writer for the Cape May County Herald, writes about my upcoming book talks this weekend in Avalon and North Cape May, NJ. The article also carries the first published look at the colorful new paperback cover of My Cousin the Saint (above), which will be released by Harper Perennial next month. The story is here.
avalon library

Listen here, listen again

Monday, May 11th, 2009

If you missed A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday night (or Sunday afternoon), you can listen to the podcast here. If you did hear it, you can listen again! Laurelyn has been fielding emails from delighted listeners from across the country, and Polecat Creek CDs are selling well on Amazon and iTunes. They can also be purchased here directly.

My wife, the singer

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

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There have been lots of musical milestones in our house in recent years, but perhaps one of the biggest comes this weekend. On Saturday evening, my wife, Laurelyn Dossett, and her singing partner, Karen Sickenberger, will sing on the iconic public radio program A Prairie Home Companion with famed radio host, storyteller and author Garrison Keillor. We have been listening to this program for nearly 25 years, and this week, at the new Durham Performing Arts Center, Laurelyn and Karen, as Polecat Creek, will share the stage and sing to a radio audience of millions. The show airs at 6 p.m. on a public radio station near you.

This will actually be the third time Polecat Creek has performed with Keillor. The other two times, in Greensboro (shown here, Laurelyn on the left) and Winston-Salem, they opened for one of his non-radio storytelling events. Their harmonies caught his attention at the Wake Forest gig last fall and an invitation to APC followed soon after.

UPDATE: Our alma mater, Penn State University, helps spread the word — here. Thanks Tina.

Photos from Calabria

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

calabria3
Sara Remington, a California photographer, just returned from shooting photos along the glorious, unheralded and certainly underappreciated coast of Calabria for an upcoming cookbook. Her photos are gorgeous (like the one above); Calabria has a new fan. See for yourself here.

Book talks in Cape May County

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I’m happy to say that I’ll be returning to Cape May County, N.J., next week for book talks. At 7 p.m., on Saturday, May 16, I’ll be at the Avalon Free Public Library. The talk is actually at the adjacent Avalon Elementary School in the gym. Details and directions are here.  And on Sunday morning at 10:30, I’ll be at St. John of God Catholic Church in North Cape May. Directions are here.

Books will be available! Come on out! Tell your friends! You might even meet a few characters from the book!

A Saint in the City

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009


The Boss opened with this song in Greensboro, NC on Saturday night. I was nearby.

Newly named saints

Friday, May 1st, 2009

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints April 26, including Portugal’s 14th century independence leader and a priest who ministered to factory workers at the dawn of the industrial era. Speaking in a packed St. Peter’s Square, Benedict praised each of the five as a model for the faithful, saying their lives and works were as relevant today as when they were alive. Full story here.