St. John’s University Professor Authors Human Interest Novel

New York, NY, October 08, 2006 --( This first-time novelist has compiled a poignant human interest novel about the struggle of a boy attempting to defeat cancer through his mandolin music. The novel, described as "impressive" by John Misak, author of Soft Case and Time Stand Still, provides insights into the life of a boy-genius whose attempt to cure his cancer winds up being a desperate struggle to discover that love and salvation are directly connected to one’s ability to listen. Certain shocking revelations about the boy’s condition and supreme obstacle compel the reader to ask himself, “What is possible when you attempt to reach to the heavens for an answer?”

How can you cure your own cancer while trying to save your father’s soul? Author, Matthew J. Iannucci answers that question in his debut novel, A Passage for Mandolin.

For the first time in years, we have a story that articulates the resounding courage of a prodigy, and how he attempts to overcome the greatest of odds by scoring a composition that he believes will alleviate him of his cancerous burden. We soon discover that music can never be truly conveyed or more critically heard, if one doesn’t unleash his spirit and take the greatest leap of faith. This cryptic title—A Passage for Mandolin, is a variation on a theme, a word-play on a love that can’t be truly articulated except through music, and a restoration that can only be approximated by the greatest of losses. The boy, who is forced to confront bullies, avoids conventional drug therapy and a two-bit hustler, who just happens to be his father. He is forced to cope with the fact that his ability to play music may be compromised. He learns that he may have magical powers, or that he may be imbued with a talent that has yet to reveal itself. This boy’s search of a passage, one he wants to give to his father, becomes not an indulgence, a distraction, or a passing fancy, but a perfectly organic drug that Angelo uses to stave off the same relentless disease that left him motherless. He realizes not only the healing power of music, but how this phenomenon is directly related to manhood.

Though it is a work of fiction, this tale is inspired by the likes of Christy Brown, Yitzhak Perlman, and Pete Gray, whose real-life trials serve as a catalytic thread to inform the protagonist. Packed with the pacing of an unusual crime thriller, this nonlinear narrative is propelled by Iannucci’s biting, satiric dialogue and unfiltered prose. His sharp wit compels the reader to take refuge in the nature of psychic pain and solace in the renewal of faith and the often overlooked gift of listening.

New York-based, Iannucci is the author of more than ninety articles for Long Island newspapers. In addition, he has composed poetry for a number of exclusive literary magazines including The Long Island Quarterly and The Long Islander; Walt’s Corner. He has published articles on the antihero in the cinema of Martin Scorsese for scholarly journals including Bright Lights Film Journal and Images Journal. He continues to teach English at St. John’s University and CUNY, and is currently in pre-production on his first independent film, BLOWBACK. His second novel, The Unlikely Passing of Marcus Freeman, will be published in the fall of 2007.

Author Contact: 
Matthew J. Iannucci, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
St. John’s University
Home Phone: (718) 343-5213

Book Statistics:
ISBN: 1-59800-680-0
Retail Price(s): $19.95
Size and Format(s): 5.5 x 8.5 paperback
Page Count: 347
Availability: Ingram, Baker & Taylor,,,

Outskirts Press, Inc.
Jeanine Sampson
888.672.6657 ext. 704