Former Day columnist Steven Slosberg to sign Dec. 12 at Bank Square Books –


Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday were Slosberg Days.

For 22 years, that was the thrice-weekly spark of awareness for many readers of The Day as they flipped to the front of the Region section. They knew they’d see Steven Slosberg’s familiar stipple portrait atop a reliably readable column that, depending on his wide-angle sense of curiosity — and the interests of subscribers — would entertain, anger, compel, touch, provoke, astonish or ignite any of several very human emotions. Possibly, these feelings would contradict maddeningly, or harmonize like the Everlys.

Last month, Slosberg, who retired from The Day in 2007 and now writes a weekly column for The Westerly Sun, self-published a book called “Columnist — 45 Years of Having a Say,” a selection of 46 of his newspaper pieces spanning his career.

On Dec. 12, he’ll sign copies of “Columnist” at Bank Square Books in Mystic.

By design, the collection, which Slosberg curated with his friend Len Fried, the columns selected mostly don’t deal with the political or number among his fair share of controversial efforts. They focus, instead, on what might be considered his biggest strength — quick vignettes about folks and circumstances Slosberg encountered by happenstance, a reader’s tip or by writerly intuition.

Telling the tale

“I’m a better storyteller than an opinion guy,” Slosberg says. He’s seated outside Mystic Market on a pleasant, late November day, picking through a salad as though looking for fun parts that maybe aren’t there. “I like to write about people who had stories but no way to tell them. I really enjoy doing that and I think I discovered I had a knack for seeking out people and capturing them. We all have our niche and that’s what I’m most comfortable with.”

“Columnist” is a generous sampling of work that, in quick and often poetic brushstrokes, captures a wide swathe of the region’s humanity and distinctive characteristics.

In the fashion of a sleight of hand artist adroitly fanning only face cards, Slosberg explores the distinguished alums of the Montville jail; spends a vigorous day on a fishing boat to honor a debt of camaraderie; traces the circumstances and fate of a high school football star turned an otherwise forgotten but heroic soldier; laments forthright honesty when attempting to mail a salami overseas in the post-9/11 world; pens appreciations and remembrances of high school teachers, children and family physicians; reports on the star-spangled evening at the grand opening of a casino; describes almost Zen sublimity of washing dishes; and details an afternoon he crossed the hallowed boundary between journalist and subject by inviting Linda Solsbury — a woman who’d been left mute and paralyzed after a stroke a civil suit jury determined had been caused by chiropractic manipulation of her neck — to his home for a garden party …

“Steve was an old-school journalist,” says Tim Cotter, executive editor of The Day, who worked at the paper …….


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