Helene Stapinski began her career at her hometown newspaper, The Jersey Journal. She is the author 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.
Her new book is Murder In Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy Haunted by a family murder from the 19th century. Journalist Helene Stapinski travels to the far reaches of Southern Italy to discover the truth about her great great grandmother who immigrated to America illegally. Weaving her own journey with the tragic history of the region and of Vita’s life, Stapinski creates a literary whodunit and a moving tale of self-discovery set in Basilicata, known for its stunning sunny beauty and dark buried secrets.