Breaking Open: Reflections on Italian American Women's Writing

Front Cover
Mary Ann Vigilante Mannino, Justin Vitiello
Purdue University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 357 pages
0 Reviews
Breaking Open explores the deep connection between prominent Italian American women writers, their heritage, and their writing. In-depth discussions of these writers' family traditions and memories of growing up in an American culture as an Italian child, including the difficulties of dueling dialects and dual cultures, explain how their unique cultural connections have impacted their work. For many of these writers, there has been a distinctive separation between their involvement with their families, immersed as they were in the culture the immigrants brought to this country, and their eventual rise to positions of prominence in academic or literary circles in the United States. While reading Breaking Open, readers are encouraged to determine for themselves whether or not this is the case.In trying to establish a unified identity, Italian American women writers face conflicting home values, those steeped in the traditions of the Italians (immigrants) and those values emerging out of a sense of what it means to be Italian-American. These differing views are further confounded by the beliefs of the overarching American society. As writers, they discuss the ways these conflicts are respresented in their works. In addition, five scholars in the field of Italian American literature critically analyze works by many of the creative writers in this anthology and discuss the future of the field.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
What I Wanted to Ask and Say Where and When This Book Was Conceived
19
Difference Identity and Saint Augustine
31
Breakage and Beauty
43
Toward a New Catholic Novel The ItalianAmerican Woman Writer and the Church
51
Breaking the JarMending the Jar
59
Until the Voices Came
73
Recollections of My Life As a Woman
91
Shame and Silence in My Work
153
Forging into the American Mainstream since the 1960s On Being a Woman Writer with an Italian Name
177
A Usable Past Writing to the Hybrid Future
195
Notes of a Lyric Artist Working in Prose A Lifelong Conversation with Myself Entered Midway
215
But Is It Great? The Question of the Canon for Italian American Women Writers
239
The Double Burden of Italian American Women Writers
265
Speaking Through Silences Ethnicity in the Writings of ItalianAmerican Women
279
Stains of an Immigrant Past Inherited Habits of Being
301

La Carta Parla
109
Adventures on the Hyphen Poetry Pasta and Identity Politics
137
Beyond Tautologies? Poetics of Female and Feminist Italianitd in Four Anthologies of Italian American Womens Literature
323
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 15 - In attempting to work out a synthesis, the self has added a third element which is greater than the sum of its severed parts. That third element is a new consciousness - a mestiza consciousness - and though it is a source of intense pain, its energy comes from continual creative motion that keeps breaking down the unitary aspect of each new paradigm.

Bibliographic information