A Memoir of the Bronx – Written by Locals

Authors of stories that appear in "Bronx Memoir Project – Volume 1" at a book launch.(Photo by Marguerite Ward via City Limits)

Authors of stories that appear in “Bronx Memoir Project – Volume 1” at a book launch.(Photo by Marguerite Ward via City Limits)

One way to dispel the myths and stereotypes of the Bronx and its residents? Compile stories of their personal experiences into a memoir. City Limits’ Marguerite Ward reports that the Bronx Writers Center has done just that with the Dec. 3 release of “Bronx Memoir Project – Volume 1,” comprised of more than 50 short stories on subjects that range from Italy during World War II to “working alongside Alvin Ailey and Nipsey Russell in the Harlem cabaret scene of the 50s and 60s.”

“We’re trying to dispel the mythology about what the Bronx is or does. It’s a groundbreaking thing to have people tell their own stories as opposed to folks talking about us,” said Deirdre Scott, executive director of the Bronx Council on the Arts.

The Bronx Writers Center, which is part of the Bronx Council on the Arts, held an open call for submissions and offered writing workshops.

The stories are both historic and contemporary. And some are about discovery: After a heavily-intoxicated Manhattan resident was saved at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, he decides to start over and move to the borough; while an OkCupid date didn’t work out, it led a Bronx resident to get acquainted with Arthur Avenue.

Sonia Fuentes, 63, a retired city school principal and lifelong Bronx resident, describes Bronx life in the 1950s in her story, “The Kelly Street I Knew,” which you can read at City Limits.

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