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In the Spotlight
March 24, 2023

M.F.A. Program Graduate Inks Deal to Write Book About Embattled Local Congressman

Mark Chiusano (pictured above), who obtained an M.F.A. in fiction writing from St. Francis College in 2022, has signed a contract with One Signal, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to write The Fabulist: How George Santos Conned the World.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, with an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard, Chiusano recently left Newsday, where he was a columnist covering New York City politics and an editorial board member, to write The Fabulist. According to Chiusano, the book, which is scheduled to be released about a year from now, will focus on “what Santos is famous for — making things up.”

As a journalist, Chiusano has been covering Santos since 2019, when the latter first ran for Congress. He has interviewed Santos via phone and encountered him multiple times, including at political rallies. “I find him to be an interesting guy, one who has always been up to questionable shenanigans,” Chiusano noted. “Whether his stories are true or not, he is a master storyteller.”

The author of Marine Park, a collection of short stories that received an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, Chiusano is no stranger to the publishing world, having worked at Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage Books earlier in his career. When Santos started making national headlines last fall, soon after he was elected to Congress, Chiusano said he “put together a quick proposal for a book, sent it in and ended up getting a great editor [at One Signal].”

As part of his research for The Fabulist, Chiusano looks forward to speaking with Santos’ constituents. “I’ve already talked to a lot of them, and they are mad. There are so many avenues this book can take. I cannot wait to see where it will lead me.”

Editor’s note: Mark Chiusano is a guest lecturer and mentor in the M.F.A. program in writing at St. Francis College and also teaches writing at New York City College of Technology (City Tech). For more on him, visit

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