The New Annals of Staten Island

by Cleve Overton

© 2014 Cleve Overton

528 pages

ISBN 978-0-9772393-2-0 (paperback)

For information, write to:

 Diaspora Voices Press
3301 9th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017



One does not necessarily have to finish a book because it’s impossible to end a story of human life and that’s what this is about. Ask any octogenarian and you will hear of the messiness of our brains  How can I explain the fascination with an era that many Islanders cannot possibly remember, and many Staten Islanders do not like to have their historical narratives messed with. The editing, rewriting, new political correctness, multitasking over the years, to give this book logic and shape, took a great deal of good luck and hard-core resilience. At times, I am caught in my own mental morass trying to right the wrongs of my early life, the ugly moments and regrets of the past that I continue to find hard to live down. How is it going…? When will you finish…? Can I read some of your text...? I would say to colleagues and friends, “Don’t ask.” They want to be supportive, and some sift through with forensic care, or ask, “What’s the point?” and never find my version of existentialist philosophy of personal liberation. There is a message here, I am sure. I do hope to change peoples’ minds, not being able to be polite or courteous or even reasonable, anger pulses through this bewildering cast of characters, fictional and real. Being a Black man, my rage and despair accumulate with nowhere to go. Nelson Mandela said, “If you don’t leave the bitterness behind, you will still be in prison.” Even though racism intrudes on everything, I will continue to write. Cleve Overton May 2014

Cleve Overton


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