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Sunday, May 14, 2006

"It happened by the grace of God that Joseph Santangelo won his wife in a card game. This fateful game of pinochle took place in the back room of Santangelo's Sausage Shop, on Mulberry Street, in New York City, on the last night of the record-breaking heat-wave of September 1949.

That summer, each day dawned hotter than the day before, and the nights were worse than the days. All night, pregnant women draped wet washcloths over their faces, begged the Madonna for a good night's sleep, and thought how lucky Mary was that her baby had been born in December. Children, three and four to a bed, squirmed to escape each other's sweaty skin until their fathers' curses hissed through the dark and they dozed off only to wake, moments later, stuck together like jelly apples."

--the beginning of the novel "Household Saints" by Francine Prose, c. 1981, St. Martin's Press

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