The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture

Overview

Now in paperback, this spirited and groundbreaking anthology defies generations of stereotypes about Italian American women. Here, more than fifty writers respond to and explode the familiar stock images: the nurturant grandmother lovingly stirring the sauce, the domineering mother wielding wooden spoon and garlic press. In place of these clich?s, they offer a sumptuous communal feast of poetry, stories, and memoir, in which readers can taste the authentic experiences of Italian...

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Overview

Now in paperback, this spirited and groundbreaking anthology defies generations of stereotypes about Italian American women. Here, more than fifty writers respond to and explode the familiar stock images: the nurturant grandmother lovingly stirring the sauce, the domineering mother wielding wooden spoon and garlic press. In place of these clich├ęs, they offer a sumptuous communal feast of poetry, stories, and memoir, in which readers can taste the authentic experiences of Italian American women in all their fascinating diversity.

Louise DeSalvo is professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York. Her thirteen books include the memoir Vertigo.

Edvige Giunta is associate professor of English at New Jersey City University. She is the author of Writing with an Accent: Contemporary Italian American Women Authors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558614536
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Editors' Note xii
Introduction 1
Part 1 Beginnings
Rose and Pink and Round 17
Aperitivo 22
Mother Hunger and Her Seatbelt 24
Beer. Milk. The Dog. My Old Man 27
Our Father 28
Italian Grocer 37
Smoke and Fire 38
Outside 44
Sacred Hearts and Tar 45
Part 2 Ceremonies
Kitchen Communion 49
Dizzy Spells 56
My Children's Names 64
Jazzman 65
Bedtime Story 65
The Seven Sacraments 67
Kissing the Bread 76
Pomegranate 78
The Anthology Poems 81
The Prodigal Daughter 82
The Giara of Memory 84
Part 3 Awakenings
Go to Hell 95
Motherlove 101
We Begin with Food 102
Breakfast in My Seventeenth Year 104
Bone, Veins, and Fat 105
Big Heart 112
The Origins of Milk 121
Cracked 123
Broke 130
Part 4 Encounters
Other People's Food 135
What I Ate Where 143
The Stereotype 148
My Grandmother, a Chicken, and Death 148
"No Thank You, I Don't Care for Artichokes" 150
Hot Peppers 152
If You Were a Boy 152
Tridicinu and 'Mmaculata 153
She's doing the dishes 158
Pasta poem 159
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 160
Part 5 Transformations
I Can Be Bread 167
Finocchio 168
Pomodori 170
Lovers and other dead animals 175
Tripe 175
Let Them Eat Cake 176
Parable 182
Rosette 182
Basil 189
Love Lettuce 190
The Room 198
Hunger 200
Part 6 Communities
Dealing with Broccoli Rabe 205
Sunday 205
The Oven 214
Ravioli, Artichokes, and Figs 216
Seventeenth Street: Paterson, New Jersey 222
Passing It On 222
You Were Always Escaping 223
Poem 225
Coffee an' 227
Jeanie 235
Working Men 236
Moving In and Moving Up 237
Fatso 239
Part 7 Passings
The Lives of the Saints 249
After We Bury Her 252
Ma, Who Told Me You Forgot How to Cry 252
The Day Anna Stopped Making A-Beetz 254
My Mother's Career at Skip's Luncheonette 258
Secret Gardens 259
The Exegesis of Eating 261
The Vinegarroon 269
Triple Bypass 273
Last Supper 274
New Year's Eve 275
Baked Ziti 276
Part 8 Legacies
What They'll Say in a Thousand Years 285
Polenta 295
Lament in Good Weather 299
Mafioso 299
Picking Apricots with Zia Antonia 300
Mortadella 301
Keep the Wheat and Let the Chaff Lie 308
The Northside at Seven 310
Words 312
How to Sing to a Dago 320
The Post-Rapture Diner 321
Cutting the Bread 322
About the Contributors 333
Credits 343
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