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Rita Schiano

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Painting The Invisible Man
by Rita Schiano   

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Publisher:  The Reed Edwards Company ISBN-10:  0979534704 Type: 


Copyright:  September 2007 ISBN-13:  978097953470

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The Reed Edwards Company
Painting The Invisible Man Direct
Painting The Invisible Man

Based on a true event...

In 2001, while researching the online archives of her hometown newspaper for a client, freelance writer Rita Schiano made a keying error—a simple mistake that led her to a path she’d been avoiding most of her life; on a journey inside the world of her father, killed gangland-style more than two decades ago.

Schiano turned that difficult journey into an engrossing novel, "Painting The Invisible Man," which explores the complex dynamics of growing up in an Italian family on the fringes of the Mafia.

While researching a freelance article, I stumbled upon archived stories about my father’s gangland-style murder twenty years before. This inspired me to dig deeper into the story, and in doing so, look critically and emotionally into my own childhood. "Painting The Invisible  Man"  chronicles my coming-of-age story through the eyes of a fictional character, Anna Matteo, who also discovers articles about her father’s Mafia murder. Both Anna and my story is one of a stolen childhood, a family torn apart by the violence of a Mafia life, and one young girl’s resilient spirit that allows her to rise above the hardships and seek solace in most unusual ways.

Back Jacket Copy:  While researching the online archives of "The Providence Journal," writer Anna Matteo makes a keying error--a simple mistake that leads her to a path she'd been avoiding most of her life; on a journey inside the world of her father, Paulie Matteo, killed gangland-style more than two decades ago.

Driven by fate and goaded by a Muse in the persona of writer Amy Tan, Anna delves into her painful and unresolved past, to uncover the truth about her father-dubbed The Invisible Man.

Employing philosophical insight and a sardonic wit, Schiano vividly takes the reader through myriad brush strokes as her character paints the unfinished portraits of both her father and herself. 

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You heard about the girl? The words of the old man with the rotting teeth rang in my head. Era l'eta della vostra figlia. I didn't speak Italian, but I was around it enough to be able to piece together what was being said. The old man had said something about age-your daughter's age. It would be a shame. A shiver washed over me. Did the late night phone call that sent mom flying into my bedroom have some connection to the old man?

Professional Reviews

“An absorbing tale that smoothly blends the quest for truth with the complexities of a self-portrait.”
Painting the Invisible Man is a historical fiction novel about an ordinary writer drawn into conducting research on the world of father, a man murdered in a gangland-style hit more than two decades ago. The deeper she immerses herself in the painful and unresolved past, the more obsessed she becomes with uncovering the truth about her father, whom she thinks of as "The Invisible Man." Written with razor-sharp wit, Painting the Invisible Man is an absorbing tale that smoothly blends the quest for truth with the complexities of a self-portrait. ~ by Midwest Book Review

“Rita Schiano has proven herself to be a powerful, talented storyteller.”
Painting the Invisible Man is both touching and even humorous at times. I found myself rooting for Anna, hoping she not only discovered who her father was, but found herself and her own happiness as well. Rita Schiano has proven herself to be a powerful, talented storyteller. ~ J. Baker, Shelfari Author Review

What is often talked about in fiction writing is that every novel has pieces of the author’s life hidden in the details. In Rita Schiano’s emotionally riveting novel, Painting the Invisible Man, there is no hiding the parallels between Rita’s life and that of her main character, Anna Matteo. And yet it is with this honesty and quiet depiction of reality that Schiano creates memorable characters and beautiful prose. Schiano explores the emotional ties that bind us to our family and our history. She shows that it is our past that gives birth to our dreams and it is our future that gives us hope. Rita Schiano’s Painting the Invisible Man explores truth through the veil of fiction and highlights these truths with honesty and emotional intensity. A beautiful poetic read! —

More than twenty years has passed since her father's gangland style murder, and Anna Matteo had moved on with her life. Or, so she thought. When she stumbles across old newspaper articles about the murder trial, however, she realizes that she has wounds that have never healed and questions that have never been answered. Had she ever really known her father? If not, could she ever really know herself?

Rita Schiano's Painting the Invisible Man is absolutely riveting. Described by the author as "somewhere between a contemporary historical novel and a roman a clef," Painting the Invisible Man is a fictional telling of Schiano's own experiences growing up in a family on the fringe of organized crime. Schiano writes with an earthy beauty that is almost poetic. And, she is utterly believable, raw, and genuine.

I really enjoyed Painting the Invisible Man. Schiano does a magnificent job of telling a complex and emotional story. She doesn't simplify, and she doesn't provide easy, tidy answers. Instead she offers a tale well-told and a marvelous read.
Highly recommended. Posted by Mama Zen at Saturday, July 04, 2009

Rita Schiano creates a cast of multifaceted characters who are the backdrop to this first person tale of self discovery. Her liberal use of flashbacks create a sense of being “in Anne’s head” and living Anne’s life. In Painting the Invisible Man, Rita touches upon families, grief, loss, sexuality, and “coming of age”…all different parts of the human experience. — Erin Nass, Luxury

Painting the Invisible a compelling read, a journey of heart and soul, that keeps one riveted as it weaves the tapestry of Anna Matteo’s life. The writing is superb....the commingled stories – past and present – unfold like a bolt of cloth revealing its richness. The characters are well developed; Anna’s parents are lovingly depicted, their humanness is sometimes heart-wrenching. Rita Schiano’s voice carries the story on the deepest emotions and the warmest wit. I have no reservations in recommending this book whole-heartedly; I look forward to reading more by Rita Schiano. Reviewed By Carolyn Lecomte, Bestsellers

“Schiano has a unique way of expressing emotion on paper, so much so that I wanted to read more of her books.”
Have you ever read a book that left you so full of emotion you found it hard to discuss its contents? It's not often a book renders me searching for words that adequately express my feelings, but Painting the Invisible Man has done just that.

Most novels I'd describe as easy-breezy reads. I enjoy them, love to discuss them, and then want to move on. But Rita Schiano's book touched me in a place I rarely disclose to the public. The main character, Anna Matteo, hits a point in her life where she must come face to face with her past. Twenty years earlier, her father was murdered and she ran away and closed off a part of herself. Now, Anna stumbles across articles related to her father and she's ready to go back and understand what happened the day her father was murdered….To make this book stand out even more, the book is based on actual events in the author's life….Schiano has a unique way of expressing emotion on paper, so much so that I wanted to read more of her books. ~ J. Kaye Oldner ""

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Reader Reviews for "Painting The Invisible Man"

Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 8/2/2007
Wonderful work, Rita. I know you've told a story here worthy of visibility in the larger literary world. This is just an amazing discovery! A keying error like this was meant to be! This story needs to be a screenplay and told in cinema. I know you are writing the screenplay and I wish you every bit of success with Painting The Invisible Man. For marketing purposes, you made the right choice to categorize this as contemporary historical fiction. This choice not only afforded you growth in your womanhood, but growth in the understanding of familial ties and how those choices affect us all throughout life. It takes a strong will to quill something this up-close and personal into literary excellence. All the best to you Ms. Schiano.


Reviewed by Rita Schiano 7/6/2007
Posted on Mouthfuls by Voyager

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I just finished reading Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano. I need to say upfront that I know Rita, and that this post is an unadulterated pimp for her extraordinary book.

Rita tells the story of her bizarre childhood growing up in an Italian family with an operatic mother and a father in the Mob. She has moved the location to Rhode Island, but the (true) story took place in Syracuse. Imagine at age 10 being so frightened of being kidnapped and killed by an enemy of your father (something that happened to a peer) that you go to a toy store and buy a toy luger that shoots rubber bullets and a shoulder holster! Rita makes you feel like you're there. Turn off the TV and read the book!

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