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Explorations Read-Aloud: “The Telling Room” by Michael Paterniti

Friday, February 23 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Every Friday, at 11:00 am, on the library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page, the library will stream a brand new recording of local thespian, Joseph Coté reading aloud selections from a wide variety of fascinating and entertaining books of fiction and non-fiction.

For February 23, Coté will read aloud from Michael Paterniti’s book The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.

Maine Author

Summary: Originally “from away” and now a Southern Maine writer, journalist and essayist, Michael Paterniti, won the 1998 National Magazine Award for his article “Driving Mr. Albert”, his account of a cross-country car trip with the pathologist who performed Albert Einstein’s autopsy and Einstein’s brain itself. The article was first published in Harper’s Magazine.

In 2013 he capped a long gestation period with the publishing of his highly-praised book THE TELLING ROOM: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese. 

For the book he temporarily moved to a small village in Spain to uncover the story behind a celebrated cheesemaker, Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, whose homemade creation, Paramo de Guzman, was briefly a world-famous delicacy before it disappeared and the cheesemaker went bankrupt in 1994. The book dives into Spanish history, the craft of cheese-making, and traditions in Guzmán, Spain                                                                                            

On who says Ambrosio’s cheese was “the greatest”? “I, the storyteller, do,” Paterniti says with a laugh. “It’s like any new product that’s always the greatest. I know there’s room for dispute, but I’m using literary license for the sake of the story.”

On why it took a decade to finish the book: “I was waiting to see what was going to happen with Ambrosio (Molinos, the cheesemaker who vowed to murder his best friend, a lawyer whom be believed had betrayed him). I also had to disabuse myself of all the disillusions that I — coming from a super-connected world filled with deadlines — had projected on the story and this little village where time seemed to move backward.”

Fun fact: His title, The Telling Room, comes from the space in Spanish caves, once used to count the local harvest of cheese and wine, where now residents gather to eat, drink and tell stories. It’s also the name of a non-profit writing program for children that Paterniti helped start in 2004 in Portland as a “way of connecting people through their stories.”

Click the links to find the library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.

Thoughts to share? Book ideas to suggest?
Contact Joseph at friday-explorations@usa.net

55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States