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Dennis Lehane says Dorchester made him the author he is today

Posted by Your Town  November 15, 2010 08:30 AM

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Author Dennis Lehane talks up Dorchester in a YouTube video plugging his new book, Moonlight Mile, saying his roots in Dot made him the writer he is today.

"People from Dorchester tend to have a bit of a chip on their shoulder, even more so than the average Bostonian, which is saying something,'' Lehane says.

He recalls growing up in a Irish-Polish neighborhood, that is now largely Vietnamese. The video captures scenes of Dorchester and Boston in general: the No. 18 bus, a local park, triple deckers, street scapes and the Lenny Zakim Bridge.

"I dont think I'd be a writer if I didn't grow up in Dorchester,'' Lehane says. "First off, I grew up in a very story-telling culture. It was a bar culture. People went to bars and told great stories. There was a high premium on how well you could tell a story, how funny you could make it. How auththenic it was.''

He says he grew up with a sense of "class distinction . . . (because of) how people reacted if you said you were from Dorchester and the look they got in their eyes.'' He also says he has a strong social consciousness and how children are treated in society because of the school busing struggles that took place when he was nine years old.

He says the title of his book, "Moonlight Mile,'' comes from the Rolling Stone 1971 album Sticky Fingers. His work includes "Gone Baby Gone'' and "Mystic River,'' both set in and around Boston.

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