A History of Things Lost and Broken


A History of Things Lost and Broken

Philip Cioffari


 Winner of the Second Annual Tartts First Fiction Award. These stories explore the darker side of human nature, moving from broken gamblers on the run to small time hold-up artists and disconsolate lovers. The settings are varied: Atlantic City, Key West, upstate New York, and—for many of the stories—the parks, playgrounds and streets of the Bronx. Place, like loss, is also a transformative force. It lives inside Cioffari’s characters, shapes desire and the actions that derive from desire. 


ISBN:  978-0-930501-30-3 Library Binding: $25.00      Sale: $10.50

ISBN: 978-0-930501-31-0 Trade Paper: $14.95           Sale $5.50


162 pages

About the Author:

Philip Cioffari holds a Ph.D. in Literature from New York University. He is Professor of English, and Director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors Program, at William Paterson University in New Jersey. His collection of short stories, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, won the Tartt fiction prize and will be published by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama in Spring, 2007. His novel, CATHOLIC BOYS, is forthcoming from Livingston Press in Fall, 2007. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including Playboy, North American Review, Michigan Quarterly, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, Italian Americana, etc.  His first independent feature film, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, which he wrote and directed, won Best Feature Film (on video) at the Long Island International Film Expo 2006. He has written and directed for Off and Off-Off Broadway. His work has been shown in New York at the Belmont Italian American Playhouse, the Chelsea Playhouse, American Globe Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, American Theatre for Actors, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of many writing fellowships and awards, including the New Voices Fiction Prize from the Writer’s Voice in New York City.

 Excerpt From the Book:

My brother Massimo, known to everyone except our parents as “Max,” fancied himself a student of the dark side of human nature, an unofficial investigator of the mysteries of the universe. In our East Bronx housing project, he was the neighborhood historian, having won the St. Helena High School history medal four years in a row. He was obsessed with the origin of things, the turning points, the moments of crisis that shaped the lives of heroic or infamous figures in this world’s drama.

He told me once he liked the order history superimposed—illusory, of course, and always in retrospect—on the otherwise random events of our lives. Day to day, he explained, there seems no overall purpose to what we do; but after you die, history steps in and says see, there was a pattern after all, your life did mean something, too bad you couldn’t see it.