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On the left is the cover of Nunzio's Way and on the right is author Nick Chiarkas.

Here are two stories about longtime Madison resident Nick Chiarkas, who spent 22 years as the director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender agency before deciding, in his 60s, to try to write novels.

Earlier this year, Chiarkas was in a short line waiting to order at the Middleton Barriques. The woman ahead of him asked for coffee and a croissant.