Don't Tell Mama!: The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing

Don't Tell Mama!: The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing

by Regina Barreca, Regina Barreca
     
 

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This important collection reveals as never before the quality, extent, and variety of the Italian American contribution to American literature. Bringing together fiction and poetry as well as academic essays and newspaper articles from the 1800s to the present, this volume covers a wide field of cultural experience. Including many previously unpublished pieces as

Overview

This important collection reveals as never before the quality, extent, and variety of the Italian American contribution to American literature. Bringing together fiction and poetry as well as academic essays and newspaper articles from the 1800s to the present, this volume covers a wide field of cultural experience. Including many previously unpublished pieces as well as classic works, and enhanced by an insightful and entertaining introduction by Regina Barreca, Don't Tell Mama highlights both the unity and the diversity of the Italian American experience.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Five years ago, A. Kenneth Ciongoli and Jay Parini brought out the first collection of writing on the Italian-American experience, Beyond the Godfather. This year, in time for Columbus Day, comes this hefty, exhaustive anthology. Barreca, author of A Sitdown with the Sopranos and They Used to Call Me Snow White... but I Drifted, selected and edited these essays by more than 90 influential Italian-American writers. Following Barreca's introduction is a witty piece by her brother Hugo, who offers his impression of Italian-American storytelling: "it was considered to be telling close to the truth... if what you reported as your own actions had actually happened to somebody at one time or another." No such collection would be complete without selections from Gay Talese's Unto the Sons, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's Italian Days, Mario Puzo's The Godfather and Pietro di Donato's Christ in Concrete, considered to be the first great Italian-American novel. In "Food and Fatalism," Wally Lamb offers his recollections of growing up in Norwich, Conn.; in a selection from Were You Always an Italian?, Maria Laurino makes sense of such dialect words as "stunod," or idiot. Barreca also includes great writers who don't necessarily write about the immigrant experience, such as Carole Maso, Don DeLillo and Evan Hunter. This is an introduction not just to great Italian-American writing but to great literature. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Spanning Italian American writing by 90 authors since 1800, this anthology consists of essays, poems, and fiction and nonfiction excerpts. The authors included range from the well known (e.g., David Baldacci, Don DeLillo, Evan Hunter, Ray Romano) to those many readers will be unfamiliar with, including a fair number of academics. Although most of the pieces are reprints, several authors have contributed original pieces; most notable are Wally Lamb's "Food and Fatalism" and Josephine Hendin's "Who Will You Marry Now?" Editor Barreca's (They Used To Call Me Snow White, But I Drifted) introduction and her brother's counterintroduction are informative and personal. They also consider the unifying theme of the works included the transforming nature of the immigrant experience and the resulting need to craft communities. In the end, this is a mixed bag: a bit academic for public libraries and a bit too popular for academics. There are not many books of similar scope, but Bill Tonelli and Huston Smith's The Portable Italian-American: The Landmark Collection of the Best Italian-American Writing is coming from Morrow in March. Interest in Italian Americans is high, so buy as warranted. Neal Wyatt, Chesterfield Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142002476
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.94(h) x 1.47(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Regina Barreca is a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut. She is the editor of seven books, including The Penguin Book of Women's Humor, and the author of four others. She writes frequently for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Hartford Courant.

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