I’ve been a writer all my adult life. Before concentrating exclusively on fiction, I published a number of articles, chapters and books on public policy as a researcher and teacher. The most recent, From Snake Pits to Cash Cows: Politics and Public Institutions in New York (SUNY Press, 2005), was featured in several articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post. In addition to teaching in American colleges and universities, I received two Fulbright fellowships to teach in Hungary and Holland. I’ve also been a consultant to several governments and NGOs in the United States and abroad.
When I turned to writing fiction, the lessons learned in writing good non-fiction made the transition easier—albeit still challenging. Write, revise again and again, get good independent readers and editors and learn to live with rejection and deferred gratification. My first published novel, Sputnik Summer (North Country Books, 2014) received excellent reviews. Betsy Kepes, in her North Country Public Radio review, wrote, “Castellani paints a detailed portrait of life in the Adirondacks in the late 50’s. It’s a book that moves along quickly.” John Rowen in The Schenectady Sunday Gazette said, “Castellani is a strong writer and captures the feel of the Adirondacks in the summer.…mysteries that keep readers turning to the end.” And Jerry McGovern, in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, wrote, “Castellani has crafted a very fine coming-of-age novel. The conflicts are believable, the characters realistic. It’s a good read for everyone.”
My current work continues my fascination with characters on the margins: people trying to move up; people trying to keep from falling back; and people caught in between. Natalie’s Wars (Donwood Books, 2019). It’s a story of a woman who struggles through World War II on the homefront and then with a husband psychologically damaged by the war in the years after. My most recent novel, Marching On (Donwood Books, 2020) picks up the story of Natalie Costello striving to make a life of her own as she contends with the entanglements and competing demands of marriage, family, and friendship. My latest novel, The Prodigal’s Brother (Donwood Books, 2021) is the story of a man entangled in a family construction business that rode the housing boom of the mid-2000s and is about to implode in the financial collapse of 2008 with deadly and devastating consequences for him and his family.
See the Books pages of the website for more on Natalie’s Wars, Marching On and Sputnik Summer.
For more detailed information about Paul Castellani you can visit the Rockefeller College – SUNY-Albany website.
5 responses to “About Paul Castellani”
This is remarkable and I cannot wait to read the book! You have captured my attention.
I have all ready read enough to know that this is a keeper. To be recommended to my book club.
A pleasure to meet you in Blue Mountain Lake yesterday, Paul. Hope to see you again some time!
Paul, you may remember me, Mike Gerry. Many, many years ago we were neighbors at Borthwick/Kenwood. I just read Sputnik Summer, Natlie’s Wars, and Marching On, one after the other. The stories were great. I also loved the timeline that you set with headlines of the period to begin each chapter. Also in the Natilie books the accurate reference to the Capital Region where I have lived my entire life. In Sputnik Summer it brought memories of when my family would rent a cabin on Paradox Lake each summer for 2 weeks