Building Material: The Memoir of a Park Avenue Doorman (Hardcover)

Building Material: The Memoir of a Park Avenue Doorman By Stephen Bruno Cover Image

Building Material: The Memoir of a Park Avenue Doorman (Hardcover)


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For fans of books like Waiter Rant, and all those who have always wondered how the other half lives, comes this heartfelt, laugh-out-loud memoir from a New York City doorman with astute ears and a penchant for storytelling

As an academically gifted Latino kid growing up in the Bronx, Stephen Bruno’s family had high aspirations for his future. He attended magnet schools and selective academic programs and was on track to realize his potential. But those dreams were derailed when, much to his Mami’s dismay, he followed a girlfriend to Minnesota and a dead-end job. Languishing and unable to get it together, Stephen eventually moved back home. Broke and eager to make a way for himself—and away from the oppressively religious father wreaking havoc on his love life—the affable, easy going, and quick-witted Stephen lands a much-coveted job as a doorman at a high-end building on Park Avenue.

Hilarity and drama soon abound as Stephen learns the dos and don’ts of being a doorman for the rich and famous and witnesses the antics going on behind the front entrance of this swanky building. In Building Material, he shares those entertaining tales and introduces an unforgettable cast of characters—from Puerto Rican and Albanian doormen battling it out for turf to quirky one percenters to slimy sugar daddies to his peers, both friends and frenemies. Throughout, Stephen offers a glimpse into the unfathomable lives of the residents and a sharp portrait of an everyday man wanting more for himself.

Both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, Building Material is a captivating true tale of class, failure, and redemption—and how to come back swinging—from a gifted young talent. 

A native New Yorker, Stephen Bruno grew up scribbling words in marble notebooks and playing sports on the streets of the Bronx. He’s a graduate of CUNY Hunter College’s MFA program and is the author of the memoir Building Material. Stephen resides in New York City where he can still be found engaged in poetry and movement in the form of salsa dancing, which he loves.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063347557
ISBN-10: 0063347555
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English

"A literary feat of astonishing power … braided into Bruno’s no-holds-barred truth-telling is an unforgettable meditation on the weight of belonging and the true cost of becoming. Bruno has crafted a bildungsroman mirror where NYC, where our country, can see itself. Prepare to be dazzled." — Junot Díaz, New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

"Building Material is delivered in the purest storytelling form: hands rhythmically flying with sound effects on the side. A tribute to the multiple worlds—and the constant collisions of those worlds—lived by us First-Gen Latino-Americans. It’s a reminder that life is less about winning, and more about never giving up. For there isn’t a short-term loss that doesn’t eventually turn into a long-term gain. And Stephen Bruno’s memoir teaches you just that.” — Abel Veloz, author of Son of a Mujeriego

"As a keen-eyed raconteur of New York, Stephen Bruno pulls back the curtain on the quirks and qualms of the city's most well-to-do residents and the essential workers who sustain them. While being both lighthearted and heartwarming, Building Material is an honest, intimate look into the lives of the often overlooked people who keep a city running and the relatable story of a man determined to give voice to their stories." — Enrique Acevedo, award-winning news journalist