Sorrentino, Steven 1957–
Sorrentino, Steven 1957–
PERSONAL: Born February 15, 1957, in Long Branch, NJ. Education: Baruch College, B.A.
CAREER: Worked in musical theater, c. mid-1970s; Clint's Corner (family-owned luncheonette), West Long Branch, NJ, manager, 1980–84; Harper & Row (publisher; now HarperCollins), New York, NY, publicist, beginning 1987, vice president and executive director of publicity, until 2001; freelance writer, 2001–.
Luncheonette: A Memoir, ReganBooks (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: After a successful career as a publicist for the publishing house HarperCollins, during which he ran campaigns for a number of best-selling books, including Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and worked with famous writers and celebrities such as Ginger Rogers, Steven Sorrentino began to write himself. Eventually published as Luncheonette: A Memoir, the work focuses on a poignant episode in his personal life. As the book relates, when Sorrentino was in his early twenties and working on a career in musical theater in New York, his father was stricken by a rare neurological disorder that rendered him a paraplegic. Out of love and family loyalty, Sorrentino returned to work in the family-owned diner alongside his partially wheelchair-bound father, putting aside his own career and budding gay social life for four years. Eventually succumbing to depression, the author relied on his family's surprisingly strong resources to find a resolution for himself and his father.
According to a Publishers Weekly contributor, in Luncheonette Sorrentino "does a nice job portraying the diner's quirky cast of characters" and the memoir's "core struggle is poignant." A Kirkus Reviews critic called the book "a very tender story," adding: "Whether or not a quarter-century distance has beveled his perspective, his sense of humor, and responsibility seems abiding and indelible."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Sorrentino, Steven, Luncheonette: A Memoir, Regan-Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Denver Post, February 27, 2005, Robin Vidimos, review of Luncheonette.
Entertainment Weekly, February 11, 2005, Melissa Rose Bernardo, review of Luncheonette, p. 69.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Luncheonette, p. 1192.
Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Lynne F. Maxwell, review of Luncheonette, p. 124.
Newsday, February 20, 2005, Janice Nimura, interview with Sorrentino.
Publishers Weekly, November 29, 2004, review of Luncheonette, p. 29.
Rocky Mountain News, March 17, 2005, Cathie Beck, review of Luncheonette.
Out in Baltimore, http://www.outinbaltimore.com/ (February 25, 2005), H. M. Key, review of Luncheonette.
Steven Sorrentino Home Page, http://www.stevensorrentino.com (August 19, 2005).