New Memoir Asks: What Is It Really Like to Be an Orphan in America?

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"Autobiography of an American Orphan" by Walter James is a gritty look at his life in a New York City orphanage in the 1950s.

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"This book offers a fascinating look into a man’s psyche who has endured and survived much." - Robert Fletcher, CEO of Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

"Autobiography of an American Orphan" is dedicated to the orphans of Mount Loretto.

Life in the 1950s in a New York City orphanage was not a nice place to be, especially for a four-year-old. In his gripping autobiography, Walter James reveals all the hardships that he, his siblings, and his fellow orphans endured for over a decade in Mount Loretto.

He pours his emotions into this gritty memoir, as he describes the relationships between the orphans, counselors, nuns, and priests, with an emphasis on how gang members and drug abusers in the institution shaped his life.

It was finally time to confront the demons that have controlled the author’s life. Although the book began as a psychological self-study, it ended up taking him to places he never thought he would visit again.

5-Star Barnes & Noble Reviews:

“'The Autobiography of an American Orphan' is not the tale of one orphan, but it is the tale of several orphans carefully woven into a larger-than-life literary piece. This book not only breaks the heart, but it mends the shattered heart on many fronts.”

“A penetrating and frightening account of what it means to be orphaned in America. This book is nothing short of fearless and searing. 'The Autobiography of An American Orphan' will be translated and bellowed for years to come.”

“Bravo Walter for giving orphans everywhere a much needed voice.”

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“This book offers a fascinating look into a man’s psyche who has endured and survived much. We are thrilled to announce this book’s release,” said Robert Fletcher, CEO of Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency.

About the Author: Walter James is originally from New York City, where he grew up in an orphanage and visited friends in the barrio of Spanish Harlem during the pre-civil rights era. He is a nationally registered respiratory therapist, and after 15 years of training, holds a certified letter from a Chinese Master to teach Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan. Carrying a knife scar on his throat and a bullet in his hip, the author credits his survival to his Chinese training. He holds master’s degrees in international studies and in public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies of Monterey, California. He also wrote "The People’s Poet". He resides in Los Angeles.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AMERICAN ORPHAN (Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60693-911-6, $31.50; Softcover ISBN: 978-1-60860-097-7, $15.95) is now available and can be ordered through the publisher’s website: or at or

WHOLESALERS: This book is distributed by Ingram Books and other wholesale distributors. Contact your representative with the ISBN for purchase. Wholesale purchase for retailers, universities, libraries, and other organizations is also available through the publisher; please email

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