American Woman, Italian Style: Italian Americana's Best Writings on Women

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With writings that span more than thirty-five years, American Woman, Italian Style is a rich collection of essays that fleshes out the realities of today's Italian American women and explores the myriad ways they continue to add to the American experience. The status of modern Italian-American women in the United States isnoteworthy: their quiet and continued growth into respected positions in the professional worlds of law and medicine surpasses the success achieved in that of the general population-so too does their educational attainment and income.Contributions include Donna Gabaccia on the oral-to-written history of cookbooks, Carol Helstosky on the Tradition of Invention, an interview with Sandra Gilbert, Paul Levitt's look at Lucy Mancini as a metaphor for the modern world, William Egelman's survey of women's work patterns, and Edvige Giunta on the importance of a selfconscious understanding of memory. There are explorations of Jewish-Italian intermarriages and interpretations of entrepreneurship in Milwaukee. Readers will find challenges to common assumptions and stereotypes, departures from normal samplings, and springboards to further research.American Woman, Italian Style: Italian Americana's Best Writings on Women offers unique insights into issues of gender and ethnicity and is a voice for the less heard and less seen side of the Italian-American experience from immigrant times to the present. Instead of seeking consensus or ideological orthodoxy, this collectionbrings together writers with a wide range of backgrounds, outlooks, ideas, and experiences. It is an impressive postmodern collection for interdisciplinary studies: a book and a look about being and becoming an American.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From candid chats with the neighborhood ladies, to portraits of a breathtaking array of artists, to the importance of work, family and - oh yes!- the handing down of traditional recipes, Carol Bonomo Albright and Christine Palamidessi Moore have put together a feast of Italian-American writings. The fact that it's women centered makes it especially delicious.-Nancy Savoca

Essays explore the lives of today's Italian American women and describe their contributions to the American experience.

'An important collection that brings together many of the foundational,interdisciplinary essays that helped to establish Italian Americanwomen's studies.-Jennifer Guglielmo

"Offers unique insights into issues of gender and ethnicity and is a voice for the less-heard and less-seen side of the Italian-American experience from immigrant times to the present."-Smoki Bacon, Beacon Hill Patch

"In counteracting the pervasive image of the 'guidette' that media is increasingly presenting as quintessentially Italian American to the young generations, collections such as Albright's and Moore's act as an antidote as well as a beacon signalling the need for additional studies on the impact Italian American women have on contemporary society." -Gina M. Miele, Montclair State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823231751
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/2010
  • Edition description: 3
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROL BONOMO ALBRIGHT is editor in chief of Italian Americana and former vice-president of the American Italian Historical Association. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

CHRISTINE PALAMIDESSI MOORE is the author of two novels, The Virgin Knows and The Fiddle Case, and is senior editor and web editor at Italian Americana. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Carol Bonomo Albright Christine Palamidessi Moore 1

Education, Work, and Home Life

Narratives of Nine Italian-American Women: Childhood, Work, and Marriage Elizabeth G. Messina 15

"Why, It's Mother": The Italian Mothers' Clubs of New York Lorett Treese 32

Connecting Spheres: Women's Work and Women's Lives in Milwaukee's Italian Third Ward Diane C. Vecchio 49

Education in the Autobiographies of Four Italian Women Immigrants Maria Parrino 57

Traditional Roles and Modern Work Patterns: Italian-American Women in New York City William Egelman 78

Italian Americans, 1990-2000: A Demographic Analysis of National Data William Egelman 87

Italian-Jewish Intermarriage: The Italian-American Spouse William Egelman William Gratzer Michael D'Angelo 98

Gender Relations among Italian Americans Richard Gambino 110

Food, Recipes, Cookbooks, and Italian-American Life: An Introduction Donna Gabaccia 121

The Tradition of Invention: Reading History through La cucina casareccia napoletana Carol Helstosky 123

Italian-American Cookbooks: From Oral to Print Culture Donna Gabaccia 133

Immigrant Kitchens, Community Cookbooks, and Italian-American Life: An Introduction Donna Gabaccia 142

A Taste of Memories Catherine Tripalin Murray 143

The Italian Immigrant Kitchen: A Journey into Identity Cassandra Vivian 150


Transformation in the Verbal Art of Clementina Todesco Carole Brown Knuth 159

The Novels of Mari Tomasi Alfred F. Rosa 166

Breaking the Silence: An Interview with Tina De Rosa Lisa A. Meyer 177

Lucy Mancini: The New Woman Paul Levitt 202

Foodways in Italian-American Narrative Rose De Angelis 206

In Our Ears, a Voice: The Persistence of the Trauma of Immigration in Blue Italian and Umbertina Mary Ann Mannino 215

Mary Caponegro, Prize-Winning American Writer in Rome Blossom S. Kirschenbaum 225

Mary di Michele's Elegies Nathalie Cooke 232

Interview with Sandra (Mortola) Gilbert Christina Bevilacqua 240

Simona Griffo, Detective Hero: A Series of "Troublems" Blossom S. Kirschenbaum 250

Writing Life, Writing History: Italian-American Women and the Memoir Edvige Giunta 260

Art, Music, and Film

Concetta Scaravaglione, Italian-American Sculptor Carol Scarvalone Kushner 271

Rosa Ponselle, Incomparable Diva James Drake 284

Nancy Savoca: An Appreciation Jacqueline Reich 300

Studies about Italian-American Women

Italian-American Women: A Review Essay Donna Gabaccia 307

Materials from Arno Press: The Italian-American Woman Maxine Seller 333

Italian Women in America: Sources for Study Betty Boyd Caroli 337

List of Contributors 349

Index 335

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