1:3 - On Writing with Helene Stapinski

What's exciting about this episode is that Helene talks extensively about the project she's just finishing. Give a listen to learn about her new book and when you'll be able to get it.

About Helene Stapinski

Helene Stapinski is the author of three memoirs, "Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family and Forgiveness in Southern Italy," "Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair with Music" and the bestselling "Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History," which was made into a documentary for public television.

She’s a regular contributor to the New York Times’ Op-Ed, Book Review, Dining, Weekend,  Travel and Metropolitan section, where she wrote the Works in Progress column for two years. Stapinski has taught journalism and creative writing at Fordham University, The School of the New York Times and her alma mater, New York University. She has also lectured at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing.

Her pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Salon, Real Simple and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. She’s also been a nanny, a bartender at a roadhouse, a deejay in Alaska and a drummer in a rock band. Stapinski has been a featured performer with The Moth spoken word series and has been a  fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her latest book, "The American Way," will be published next year by Simon & Schuster.

Things You Won't Hear in this Episode

What's your favorite book?
Truman Capote’s "In Cold Blood."

Who do you read?
I read everything - fiction, non fiction and poetry. I loved George Saunders’ "Lincoln in the Bardo." I ate up Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels.  And Knausguard’s five volume "My Struggle."  Right now I’m reading fellow Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, "Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead."

What memoir(s) have you particularly enjoyed reading?
Mary Karr’s memoir "The Liar’s Club" was pretty major for me. I just read Philip Roth’s memoir, "Patrimony," which is incredible.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
I like walking my dog in Prospect Park in Brooklyn at sunrise. I also like to cook and travel.

Is it ever too early to think about the next thing? And if not, is there one?
I would love to tackle my Polish Catholic family’s secret Jewish past.