Download Murder In Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy Audiobook

Murder In Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy Audiobook, by Helene Stapinski Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Helene Stapinski Narrator: Helene Stapinski Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9780062675095
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"Tantalizing" - NPR

“A thrilling detective story… Stapinski pursues the study of her family’s criminal genealogy with unexpected emotional results.” — Library Journal

A writer goes deep into the heart of Italy to unravel a century-old family mystery in this spellbinding memoir that blends the suspenseful twists of Making a Murderer and the emotional insight of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.

Since childhood, Helene Stapinski heard lurid tales about her great-great-grandmother, Vita. In Southern Italy, she was a loose woman who had murdered someone. Immigrating to America with three children, she lost one along the way. Helene’s youthful obsession with Vita deepened as she grew up, eventually propelling the journalist to Italy, where, with her own children in tow, she pursued the story, determined to set the record straight.

Finding answers would take Helene ten years and numerous trips to Basilicata, the rural "instep" of Italy’s boot—a mountainous land rife with criminals, superstitions, old-world customs, and desperate poverty. Though false leads sent her down blind alleys, Helene’s dogged search, aided by a few lucky—even miraculous—breaks and a group of colorful local characters, led her to the truth.

Yes, the family tales she’d heard were true: There had been a murder in Helene’s family, a killing that roiled 1870s Italy. But the identities of the killer and victim weren’t who she thought they were. In revisiting events that happened more than a century before, Helene came to another stunning realization—she wasn’t who she thought she was, either.

Weaving Helene’s own story of discovery with the tragic tale of Vita’s life, Murder in Matera is a literary whodunit and a moving tale of self-discovery that brings into focus a long ago tragedy in a little-known region remarkable for its stunning sunny beauty and dark buried secrets.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Murder in Matera is a remarkable family saga that captures the beauty and grit of southern Italy. The powerful and complicated matriarch at the center of Stapinski’s tale will stay with you long after you finish the book.”

    Gay Talese, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Part memoir, part murder mystery…Stapinski retells her decadelong search for the truth about the early life of her great-great grandmother Vita.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This book is many things: a gripping murder story, an ancestral journey, a tender yet funny reflection on motherhood and love of country, family, and food. But mostly it’s just a total page-turner. Helene Stapinski is incapable of delivering a dull moment.”

    Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable

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About the Author

Helene Stapinski is the author of Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History, the basis of an upcoming documentary for which she was a writer and producer, and Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair with Music. She has written extensively for the New York Times and New York Magazine as well as Salon, Travel & Leisure and many other publications. She has also appeared on NPR, was a featured performer with The Moth, and teaches writing at Fordham University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.