Sawyer Free Library to Celebrate Memoirs of Gloucester Authors in May

Author Talk at SFL with GAIL BRENNER NASTASIA on Thursday evening, May 4

Sawyer Free Library is pleased to present a series of local authors reading and discussing their memoirs this May at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester.   All events are in person and open to the public. To register, or for more information, visit,

Thursday, May 4, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Book Reading with local author GAIL BRENNER NASTASIA

Join local Author and Gloucester native Gail Brenner Nastasia, who will speak about her newly released memoir, The Fruit You’ll Never See

Gail learned early on that some people mattered and others didn’t. Despite moving away from Gloucester in her early twenties and becoming an attorney, it wasn’t until she began to appreciate the value in her criminally-charged clients, those with whom she shared similar struggles, that she was finally able to recognize her own worth. This new understanding gave Gail the courage to embrace her history fully and to stop hiding. A candid look at the things we inherit, Gail’s memoir reminds us of the value intrinsic in every human being and the responsibility we all have to each other and ourselves. After practicing criminal defense for sixteen years, Gail received her MFA from Emerson College in 2021. She is currently working on her second book while continuing her work in the legal field. Now in recovery from drug addiction for twenty years, Gail’s primary goal is to help others to recover from addiction. She is also the proud mother of three. 

Thursday, May 11, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Author Talk with STELLA NAHATIS 

Local author Stella Nahatis will discuss her newly released memoir, Taxi to America: A Greek Orphan’s Adoption Journey.

Stella’s journey from Thessaloniki, Greece, to America begins with a pre-dawn taxi ride that she and her sister share while the coffin holding a loved one rides along in the taxi’s trunk. Orphaned and separated from her younger sister “for her own good” as the culture dictated at the time, Stella ends up being adopted by a Greek couple that had emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts. At age 11, she overcomes multiple losses and cultural differences to find a place in her new homeland while finding ways to stay connected to those she loved in Greece.

This story of resilience and perseverance follows Stella’s journey of becoming an “Amerikanaki” and eventually reconnecting with her sister, who had stayed in Greece with her own set of adoptive parents. Even as Stella embraces her new life and culture in America, she rebuilds her loving relationship with her sister after an eight-year separation. Later in life, the sisters take another taxi ride together, this time to recover important details of their birth parents’ life stories that mirror the determination to survive and thrive that marks their own.

Thursday, May 18, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Author Talk with VIRGINIA MCKINNON

Virginia McKinnon as she reads from her newly released memoir, A Fisherman’s Daughter: Growing Up Sicilian-American in the Oldest Fishing Port in America

At age 93, this first-time author shares short stories of her heritage growing up in Gloucester, spanning her lifetime, including her late husband’s WWII experiences in the Asiatic Pacific. Drawing on her vivid memories from throughout her life as a child when she could hop fishing boat to fishing boat during St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester Harbor to the joyful celebrations of marriage and family life, to her community and public life work as a social worker, eucharistic church minister, lector, and writer, Virginia’s book documents a cultural history of a way of life in Gloucester and America.

For more information and to register all events, visit,


The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation will host it 6th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, live on Zoom, on Monday, January 17th at 2:00pm. Please preregister at

The Racial Climate in Gloucester, What Lies Ahead will be the focus of the 2-hour program, including including findings of a new community survey. The keynote speaker will be Brian Saltsman, Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion at Alfred University in upstate New York. He is a leading advocate of addressing community issues between dominant and marginalized racial, ethnic or economic sectors as allies, a process known as “allyship.”

The invited presenting organizations are:

  • The Gloucester Racial Justice Team, reporting on a survey that assessed how much people of color “feel like they have a sense of community and belong in the city, including how race and ethnicity play a role in their daily lives,” according to GRJT spokesperson Gail Seavey.
  • The North Shore Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which most recently has focused on racism issues within Danvers High School athletic teams. A branch leader will discuss the North Shore branch’s activities across a region stretching from Lynn to New Hampshire.
  • The Diversity and Equity Committee of the Gloucester 400th Anniversary Celebration, which is researching narrative stories that accurately depict racial and ethnic relationships since European settlement began displacing the native, indigenous Pennacook-Abenaki peoples. This will include years of slave ownership and maritime commerce in the global slave trade.

A video of this program with be available on the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation’s YouTube channel afterwards. The Foundation is a nonsectarian, federally-recognized nonprofit, organized to promote the preservation and community programming of the historic 1806 Meetinghouse on Middle Street, home of the first Universalist Church in America. Tax-deductible donations are welcome and may be made on the website, or by check to “GMF” at 10 Church Street, Gloucester, MA 01930.