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Scalia's characters stumble toward grace

In Rosalia Scalia's new book of short stories, S'tumbling Toward Grace,' she takes us to corners of Baltimore and into families whose vivid characters break our hearts -- and warm them, at the same time. Credit: provided by author

In her new collection of short stories, Baltimore writer Rosalia Scalia connects us to people we might never get to know by ourselves. Maybe they’re a lot older or younger than we -- or from a different ethnic group, and without Scalia at our side we wouldn’t realize that their families struggle like ours. Or maybe they’re just nasty, like the crotchety guy in the title story, 'Stumbling Toward Grace.' We learn right away that he’s a bigot who’s cut off his daughter and never met his grandkids. Somehow Scalia helps us see not just his mistakes, but why he’s made them.

“There are many people around us who have things about them that are unlikeable but they themselves are not bad people, they’re just flawed.”

Links: Scalia at Ivy Bookshop Thurs. Oct. 28 at 7pm, and In conversation at Lost City Books in Washington, DC Friday Nov. 5 at 7:30 pm.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'