An illiterate Calabrian in southern Italy owes money to his church and mayor. He skips town for the bustling streets of New York. Meeting an old friend, a fellow immigrant, he thanks him for help getting settled, and then steals his money. With a new parcel of wealth, he materializes from a small-time laborer into a big-time entrepreneur, soon becoming the tyrant of the local Italian American community. By pluck, luck, and unscrupulous business practices, this cunning character "makes America." There are riches, pleasure, and the beautiful Carmela. Then trouble. Comeuppance. Ambush. Revenge.Twenty-first century popular culture? Not at all.
The Grand Gennaro, a riveting saga set at the turn of the last century in Italian American Harlem, reflects on how youthful acts of cruelty and desperation follow many to the grave. A classic in the truest sense, this operatic narrative is alive once again, addressing the question: How does one become an "American"?
|Publisher:||Rutgers University Press|
|Series:||Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (MELA) Series|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Garibaldi M. Lapolla, an Italian American educator and novelist, immigrated to New York in 1890. In addition to this great work he is the author of The Fire in the Flesh and Miss Rollins in Love.
Steven J. Belluscio teaches English at Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY and is the author of To Be Suddenly White: Literary Realism and Racial Passing.