Synopses & Reviews
Skillfully capturing the daily quirks of life in a boisterous, working-class ethnic family--daily assaulted by family clamor, endless courses of food, embarrassment and fierce love--Blue Italian
traces the pitfalls of the young life and three-year marriage of a wise-cracking and heart-winning heroine, Rosa Salvatore. With an ear for acid dialogue and an eye for everyday ironies, Ciresi unfolds Rosa Salvatore's tale: growing up on fantasies, guilt, and fagioli in the New Haven working-class Italian neighborhood of Pizza Beach; working her way through a local college by slinging hash, while agonizing over her thighs and aching for passion; landing a job and meeting Gary Fisher, a nice Jewish lawyer from Flushing with a great butt and angst of his own. Rosa and Gary fall in love, make love, get married, fight, make up, fight again--until Gary is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and Rosa realizes the power of her love--and the crushing force of regret.
Frank and warm, crackling with razor-sharp wit, Blue Italian is a love story about an ill-fated couple who almost missed realizing how much they loved each other. It establishes Rita Ciresi as a writer with a unique gift for language, character, and emotion--a novelist to read, and a novelist to watch.
About the Author
Rita Ciresi is the author of Mother Rocket, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novels Pink Slip and Blue Italian. She lives with her husband and daughter in Florida.
Reading Group Guide
1. What makes Gary want to believe in God -- even though it's hard for him? Why does Rosa believe in God without really trying?
2. Although Rosa and Gary are rarely romantic in the traditional sense, there's a lot of love in their relationship. Why is humor their main form of communication?
3. Why do you think Gary decided to die in the hospital instead of at home?
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Rita Ciresi's Blue Italian.