Italian Blood: A Memoir

Italian Blood: A Memoir

Italian Blood: A Memoir

Italian Blood: A Memoir


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A memoir dealing with the aftermath of abuse.

“I’ve heard that some volcanic eruptions are soft with oozing streams of lava dancing down the side of the volcano like a Las Vegas chorus line. My father’s eruptions were quick, like bricks being thrown through a window.”

Denise Tolan’s memoir-in-essay traces the legacy of violence in an Italian American family, showing how abuse reverberates both in the body and mind of a family. The book’s first part, “Blood is Not Water,” lays out how the origins of violence can infect the roots of a family tree. The second part, “Good Blood Doesn’t Lie,” shows what grows from those roots. Italian Blood is a raw, heartbreaking series of essays where everything is connected through literal and metaphorical blood. These essays offer a connection to anyone who suffered childhood shame, violence, or fear and provide reassurance that they are not alone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933880952
Publisher: CavanKerry Press
Publication date: 10/03/2023
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,149,424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Denise Tolan lives and writes in San Antonio, Texas. Her work has been included in places such as the Penn Review, Atlas and Alice, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, and The Best Small Fictions 2018. You can find out about her obsession with survivors and Moby-Dick at

Table of Contents

Prima Parte: Il Sangue Non e Acqua / Part One: Blood is Not Water

Never Two Without the Three
Divisible by Thirteen
Malocchio (The Curse)
My Mother Tells Me

Seconda Parte: Buon Sangue Non Mente / Part Two: Good Blood Doesn’t Lie

Betrayed by Blood
Things That Go Boom
The Underside of Normal
Visiting Rena

Terza Parte: Echi del Mio Sangue / Part 3. Echoes of My Blood

Mercury Rising
A Very Short History of Abuse
Snake Light
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