Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | August 15, 2017

August 14, 2017: “Leave The Dead In Peace” Author Helene Stapinski Heard On Her Journey. She Discusses Her New Book “MURDER IN MATERA: A True Story Of Passion, Family, And Forgiveness In Southern Italy” With Brenda Starr

Murder in Matera by Helene Stapinski

A trip to Southern Italy in order to solve a mystery of murder involving her great-great-grandmother Vita becomes an account of passion, family, food, and forgiveness for Helene. She captures perfectly the “simultaneous beauty and sadness” of Matera — the instep in the boot of Italy — its midday heat (like “stepping into a pizza oven”), its brutalizing poverty and superstition, its stark, if accidental, symbolism. On her way to the Crypt of the Original Sin, she pauses at the cave dwellings where the poorest of the poor once lived. They “resembled a collection of skulls, all looking out into the distance.”

Murder In Matera is a mystery with in-depth investigative reporting and a travelogue of Southern Italy.


Helene Stapinski

Helene Stapinski began her career at her hometown newspaper, The Jersey Journal. She is theauthor of two memoirs: Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History and Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, with Music. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, most recently, Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up. Helene has also written extensively for The New York Times, for Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Salon, Real Simple, New York magazine and dozens of other newspapers, magazines and blogs. She’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, The Today Show and as a performer with The Moth main stage.

She received her B.A. in journalism from New York University in 1987 and her MFA from Columbia in 1995. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.


To read “When America Barred Italians”, a New York Times article by Helene visit :…/illegal-immigration-italian-americans.html

To see Helene in Italy, watch this Youtube video:




To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_TTEOW 8-14-17_program


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