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The Jewish heart and soul of Louis Gossett Jr.

June 27, 2024

Jewish Journal 

The first time I met him, he pretty much took my breath away. An elegant, tall Black man dressed in a stylish dashiki top, he seemed oblivious to the fact that every eye was turned to him. As his long athletic legs delivered him to our table, “How good to see you, Lou,” my literary agent, Helen Rees, greeted him, standing up to receive a warm kiss on both her cheeks. “Let me introduce you to Phyllis, a potential writer to help with your memoir.”  more...


A mere mention of South Boston sometimes conjures up images of the late mobster Whitey Bulger, 89, and protests against mandated busing to desegregate the city's schools during the 1970s.

But there is another side of "the town" that many people don't realize, according to co-authors Anna Weeks and Phyllis Karas.  more...


Though he just died last week James “Whitey’’ Bulger will likely remain a presence in the city for years to come. In “Women of Southie: Finding Resilience During Whitey Bulger’s Infamous Reign’’ (Changing Lives). Phyllis Karas and Anna Weeks tell the harrowing story of six women, describing their lives, hardships, and triumphs in the neighborhood when the gangster and his drug business were at the height of their influence. The pages are filled with    more...


Meet Phyllis Karas. Grandmother. Doctor’s wife. Mob biographer.


“How does a nice Jewish grandmother from Marblehead get involved with South Boston mobsters?” asks Karas, repeating the reporter’s obvious question.   more...


At a time when women are speaking up about painful, personal experiences, the book “Women of Southie” is particularly timely. Subtitled “Finding Resilience During Whitey Bulger’s Infamous Reign,” the book is the story of six South Boston women whose lives were shaped by...   more...


'Women of Southie' shows a different side of South Boston

Sept 7, 2018

On WCVB Channel 5 ABC News

Click here to see the coverage on Channel 5. 


Phoenix Review

April 30, 2006

By Julia Dennis

Kevin Weeks, the number two man in Whitey Bulger’s mob, served a three-year sentence for racketeering, money-laundering, extortion, and drug conspiracy, and was released from the Allenwood Federal Correctional facility on a Friday in February, 2005. By the following Tuesday he was singing like a canary to a diminutive grandmother, young-adult novelist, and journalism professor from Newton named Phyllis Karas.       more...

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Professor Helps Pen "Brutal" Mobster's Biography

Spring 2006

By Caryl Rivers

If you saw journalism professor Phyllis Karas walking down Commonwealth Avenue, you'd think this willowy, elegantly-coiffed lady was off to a business lunch in some swank downtown restaurant.   You would never expect that she was more likely to be heading toward a meeting with a mobster than to a Newbury Street luncheon.  Karas is the co-author of "Brutal" -- newly arrived on The New York Times bestseller list.  It's the story of Kevin Weeks, the career criminal from South Boston, whose testimony convicted famed mobster         more...

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Ari's Fate

November 1998

By Peter Ames Carlin and Toula Vlahou

Aristotle Onassis was already one of the world’s wealthiest men when Kiki Feroudi Moutsatsos first walked into his Athens office in 1966. Just 17, she was hoping to land a job in the Greek shipping magnate’s office. Moutsatsos didn’t even recognize the diminutive tycoon when he stormed by, too preoccupied with the decline of Greece’s currency to return her smile. But moments later ...      more...


April, 1997

By Nathan Cobb

The accidental author When vacationing in Marblehead writer Phyllis Karas checked into her Greek Hotel, little did know she would check out with the million-dollar tale of Jackie and Aristotle Onassis.  more...

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Her Novel Has Set Marblehead Abuzz

August 28, 1981

By Peggy Shehan McLean

A friend's wedding last summer turned out to be a rite of passage for Phyllis Karas as well-- a literary one which provided the fabric from which she wove her first novel.  "I was very moved by the wedding.  I hadn't seen a lot of the people in 15 years, since we got out of college, and so much had happened to us'" began Karas, during an interview in the sun-drenched family room of her sprawling shingled house near the Marblehead shore.  The experience triggered her imagination...    more...


  • Best feature story award from New England Press Association, 1979, for a series on teenage pregnancy.

  • Simon Rockover Award for Excellence in Feature Writing for a 1991 article in Moment magazine about kosher slaughter.

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