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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

'Made to Write' Reflects on Life

Milwaukee's Calderone-Stewart to appear at Boswell

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In Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart's Made to Write, 51-year-old Nellie Massa decides to enter a religious order. First, however, she must reflect on her life through correspondence with the religious community's director as well as family and friends. Made to Write, based heavily on Calderone-Stewart's own journey, explores the gratifying and devastating relationships that shaped a young social activist as she matured in the central city. This delightful novel, organized in the form of letters, shines a light into the character's mind, heart and soul. Through her writing, Nellie examines her life, which has included a failed marriage and extensive work in youth ministry, and comes to realize that self-discovery and celebration of the self can bring meaning to senseless tragedy and hardship. Nellie's personal affairs and love interests ring especially true and perfectly capture the pain and sweetness of living an authentic life in service to others.

Calderone-Stewart is a Milwaukee resident whose central-city experiences have much in common with those of the fictional Nellie Massa, including a passion for working with teens. Calderone-Stewart's latest challenge, living with terminal cancer, has only strengthened her determination to leave behind a legacy in the form of Tomorrow's Present, a Milwaukee-based youth leadership program and the recipient of all proceeds from Made to Write. Calderone-Stewart will speak at Boswell Book Co. on July 12 at 7 p.m.
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