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Italian American Writers on New Jersey: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose Paperback – October 21, 2003
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About the Author
Jennifer Gillan is an associate professor at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. With Maria Gillan, she has edited Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing Up Ethnic in America. Maria Mazziotti Gillan is founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College and director of the creative writing program at SUNY-Binghamton. Her latest book of poetry is Italian Women in Black Dresses. Edvige Giunta is an 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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Buy this book for anyone with an interest in Italian-American lives, and New Jersey stories.
author of "L is for Lion: an italian bronx butch freedom memoir" SUNY Press
and "Schistsong" BORDIGHERA Press
L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir (SUNY series in Italian/American Culture)
Schistsong (Via Folios)
Carry My Coffee (Live)
It's enlightening, enlivening and thought-provoking.
Great literature reminds you of where you've come from.
Here, the bitter and the sweet in poetry and prose maps the past and transitions to where we stand today, in New Jersey and across America.
This anthology crisscrosses the state from Ocean City to Greenwood Lake and Jersey City to Trenton.
Some writers may be familiar to you, and others brand new. (Many will strike you as worth the time to scounge out long lost copies of their work.)
For instance, Combat Zones by Louise DeSalvo is not your typical Italian American remembrance - but much of it is the mystery about relations - the father's piecemeal labor and kitten-drowning - all hit close to home. And it's only the second page.
Throughout are many most-interesting stops in between at Short Hills, Paterson, Seaside Heights and Hillsdale. But you might be bewildered when you seek out Arlington and Cranwood and West Plains.
You see, this anthology of poetry and prose doesn't discern the fiction from the nonfiction.
As if Pietro di Donato's Hoboken: Three Circles of Light would be classified as something that is so real it couldn't be fiction. Or Bill Ervolino's Wood-Ridge could be anything but completely true.
This book appeals not only to Italian American in New Jersey, but to IA's named Gustafson in Ashtabula, Ohio, as well as Smith in Nutley.
Here, the tip of the iceberg, is a good place to learn of one's heritage and to capture the common experience we've had to get where we are today.
This cross section of Italian American writers, the New Jersey who's who among contributors, is a great place to start your private Italian American library, your legacy for your descendents.
This collection presents a commonality that had lain dormant in stories that were scattered.
My only peeve is that in a few instances Italian is used without translation. That, too, reminds me of growing up Italian American in New Jersey.
Some day, every state will wish it had Italian American writers telling its tales in poetry and prose. For now, it's time to read this one and join the call for another volume.