Welcome

Thank you for visiting me! I am a novelist, poet and memoirist, born and raised in New York City.

About Me

My first novel, Angie, I Says, draws on my time working in offices in Manhattan, and an overheard conversation on the subway. It was a New York Times Notable Book and was made into the movie Angie, starring Geena Davis, James Gandolfini and Stephen Rea. My second book, After Isaac, was written for a YA audience. I am an adoptive mother, and the story of After Isaac came out of my experience researching an article I wrote for Adoptive Families magazine. My poems have been published in The American Journal of Poetry, The Hollins Critic, Cimarron Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Dunes Review, among other places. I’ve written personal essays that appeared in the New York Times. My memoir, Stride: How I Walked Away from Trauma Toward Healing, chronicles my recovery from an accident that left me disabled. I was formerly an adjunct professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, and now lead a NY Writers Coalition workshop at the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York. I have two grown sons and live in Brooklyn with my husband, daughter and two cats.

Stride: How I Walked Away from Trauma Toward Healing

Memoir in progress

I needed a new winter jacket. The EMTs had cut through my old one in order to attach the IV to prevent me from going into shock. Now it was September, and I had been out of the hospital and rehab for a few months. I had made it through the spring and summer, and, even though it was still warm most days, I was looking ahead.

Angie, I Says

Tina Scacciapensieri is a secretary from Brooklyn with a BFF, Angie, a sweet longtime boyfriend, Vinnie, and a big mouth. As her father says, “Why is everything a fight with you?” When she finds out she’s pregnant, deciding whether or not to marry Vinnie is complicated by her attraction to Noah, a lawyer she has recently met. After Tina gives birth to a boy missing a bone in one of his arms she despairs, feeling it’s her fault. But with family and friends rallied around her, she realizes, “Everybody’s loving this baby already, and I didn’t do nothing wrong.”

Angie, I Says was made into a feature film starring Geena Davis, James Gandolfini and Stephen Rea.

After Isaac

Aaron Saturn, 16, is an emotional zombie—stuck in grief for his little brother, Isaac, who died. He longs for an escape, and thinks he’s found one when he meets Kim, a girl living on the streets of New York City’s East Village. When his parents reveal a startling plan to change their family, Aaron goes into a tailspin. He needs to learn that healing won’t come from running away, but by letting love back into his life.

Contact

Email Avra at avragwing@gmail.com or by using the button below.

News & Events

Avra reads with the Emotional Historians poets
Lincoln Center on July 27 at 6:00