Posted by Literary Titan
An Ambition To Belong is a vivid memoir about your life growing up in 1950’s Detroit. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?
To tell the story about Polish American peasant life in inner city Detroit – and my own anxiety-driven experiences in a street gang while attending a private Jesuit college prep high school giving explicit exposure to what many adolescents experience in one way or another.
You recount many struggles you faced growing up. What is a piece of advice that you wish someone gave you when you were young?
I would have wanted to be encouraged to investigate what it was I wanted – rather than accepting what I was being told I was supposed to want.
Do you think immigrant children that grow up in religious families today face the same struggles as you did when you were young?
Yes, immigrant children are always going to struggle with not belonging, feeling like an outsider, grasping at new ways to find identity.
Even though I was second generation, my family was still so embedded in the old ways, in the exclusivity of Polish Catholic identity that it was passed on to me to still struggle with.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The 3rd book in my Leaving Home Trilogy is titled “When Angels Die” and takes place when the central character Jim is in his mid-20s and is now a professional stage actor. I’m in the final stage of completing it – so I’m hoping that it will be available by the end of year holiday season.
An Ambition to Belong, second book of the Leaving Home Trilogy, is an astute and insightful psychological journey into the inner life of Jim, an adolescent who is trying to forge his own identity. Trapped in two different worlds, he belongs nowhere: at one end his Polish immigrant inner-city Catholic family and its Eastern European peasant beliefs and terrors; and at the other a late-1950s upper-class suburban Jesuit college-prep high school in suburban Detroit where he is totally unprepared to deal with that world of money and arrogance he finds there. At home, raw gut emotion; at school emotionless intellect. At home he is a member of The Royal Lancers, a street gang where his life is threatened by Donny, a psychotically deranged fellow gang member; at school, because of his dress, especially his Ford Motor Company issue black work shoes, he is perceived as a non-entity, a non-being who has little or no existence. Confronted with racism and a savage incident of anti-Semitism, Jim rises to find the strength that forms the first layer of his conscience and his conscious sense of self.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
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