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Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian-American Writers

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thoughtful, poignant, and hilarious personal essays collected by the editors of Creative Nonfiction explore the meanings of Italian-American identity.

In the twenty-one nonfiction narratives collected in Our Roots Are Deep with Passion, established and emerging writers with family ties to Italy reflect on the ways that their lives have been accented with uniquely Italian-American flavors. Several of the essays breathe new life into the time-honored theme of family—Louise DeSalvo honors her grandfather, nick-named “the drunk” because he spent his life of hard work drinking wine instead of water, and James Vescovi portrays the close of the stormy relationship between his father and grandmother. Other stories tackle the mystical side of Italian-American life, like Laura Valeris account of a summer vacation séance in Sardinia that goes eerily awry. And elsewhere, Stephanie Susnjara charts the history of garlic in society and her kitchen, and Gina Barreca offers an unabashed confession of congenital jealousy.

Lee Gutkind, founding editor of Creative Nonfiction, the nations premier nonfiction prose literary journal, and Joanna Clapps Herman have brought together artful essays by novelists, scholars, critics, and memoirists from across the country. The pieces are as varied as their authors, but all explore the unique intersections of language, tradition, cuisine, and culture that characterize the diverse experience of Americans of Italian heritage.

Book News Annotation:

With nary a stereotype in sight, but with plenty of commentary about living hyphenated in America, 21 writers tell their stories about a life based on language, connections, similarities and differences. Some stories are sweet, some are cruel, but all are Italian-American, with the attendant overtones of living large just slightly apart from the mainstream. Yes, food figures prominently along with religion and romance, but so does conflict within and without marriage, troubling and murky post-parental nostalgia, and the intrusion of the modern realities of America, including a lesbian wedding and a firm rejection of the religion that had sustained generation after generation. Gutkind (English, U. of Pittsburgh) and Herman (creative writing, Manhattanville College and City College of New York) largely let the authors, including Louise DeSalvo, Mary Beth Caschetta, Edvige Giunta and Sandra Gilbert speak for themselves, hyphens, pasta and all.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

With nary a stereotype in sight, but with plenty of commentary about living hyphenated in America, 21 writers tell their stories about a life based on language, connections, similarities and differences. Some stories are sweet, some are cruel, but all are Italian-American, with the attendant overtones of living large just slightly apart from the mainstream. Yes, food figures prominently along with religion and romance, but so does conflict within and without marriage, troubling and murky post-parental nostalgia, and the intrusion of the modern realities of America, including a lesbian wedding and a firm rejection of the religion that had sustained generation after generation. Gutkind (English, U. of Pittsburgh) and Herman (creative writing, Manhattanville College and City College of New York) largely let the authors, including Louise DeSalvo, Mary Beth Caschetta, Edvige Giunta and Sandra Gilbert speak for themselves, hyphens, pasta and all. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Lee Gutkind

Lee Gutkind, proclaimed ‚"the Godfather behind creative nonfiction‚" by Vanity Fair, is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of eight books, including Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590512425
Author:
Gutkind, Lee
Publisher:
Other Press (NY)
Foreword by:
Mantegna, Joe
Foreword:
Mantegna, Joe
Editor:
Herman, Joanna Clapps
Author:
Herman, Joanna Clapps
Author:
Mantegna, Joe
Author:
Clapps Herman, Joanna
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Italian americans
Subject:
American essays
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Italian Americans -- Social life and customs.
Subject:
American essays - 21st century
Subject:
Italian
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Italian American

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