FAIRFIELD, Conn --"Swimming with Bridgeport Girls," which came out July 11, doesn't take place in Bridgeport, but it does have a lot of Connecticut connections.
The novel, by Fairfield native Anthony Tambakis, follows its main character, Raymond Parisi, a charismatic gambler and disgraced ESPN anchor, in a quest from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville to Las Vegas and Memphis in an effort to win back his wife. This, after being fired from his anchor job and enduring a host of public humiliations.
According to a Simon & Schuster press release: "If a Richard Russo protagonist went on a bender in Vegas, the result would be something like this."
The book was 14 years in the making and is billed as a heartwarming and heart-wrenching tale of one man's mission to finally get it right.
A Hollywood screenwriter, Tambakis, who now lives in Venice, CA, draws on Fairfield County references throughout the book, with his character reminiscing about friends who live in 22-room homes in Greenwich, ice skating at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport, and taking Metro North into the City.
Devil's Glen in Weston also gets a mention, as does Staples High School in Westport and Sandy Hook.
Tambakis is currently adapting the 1961 novel and film "The Hustler" for Broadway and penning the screenplay for "Swimming with Bridgeport Girls." (The actress Natalie Portman is one of those who gave a glowing review on the book's jacket.)
The author, the recipient of the Paul Bowles Fellowship for Fiction Writing at Georgia State University, is also behind the writing of the movie "Warrior" for which Nick Nolte received an Oscar nomination and current projects that include Academy Award winners Will Smith and Charlize Theron.
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