Paper Fish

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Feminist Press at CUNY, 1996 - Fiction - 157 pages
1 Review

Set in Chicago during the 1940s and 1950s, this novel of Italian American life is populated by hardworking immigrants whose heroism lies in their quiet, sometimes tragic humanity. At the center of the novel is young Carmolina, who is torn between the bonds of the past and the pull of the future—a need for home and a yearning for independence. Carmolina's own story is interwoven with the stories of her family: the memories and legends of her Grandmother Doria; the courtship tales of her father, a gentle policeman, and her mother, a lonely waitress; and the painful story of Doriana, her beautiful but silent sister. "Understated, lyrical and intensely imagistic, De Rosa's tale of Italian ghetto life stands out from other immigrant narratives by virtue of its artistry."—Kirkus Reviews

 

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PAPER FISH

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

First published in a limited edition in 1980 by a small press in Chicago, and long out of print, De Rosa's debut fiction indeed deserves this full-scale republication. Understated, lyrical, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Izabella - LibraryThing

for me this is a bit difficult (and boring) to read - I haven't even managed to finish this book. Maybe I'll try again another time and then I'll change the rating, too?! Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE MEMORY
4
SUMMER 1949 LATE JULY
27
THE FAMILY
40
SUMMER 1949 EARLY JUNE
55
SUMMER 1949 LATE JULY
71
SUMMER 1958
109
EPILOGUE
117
A SONG FROM THE GHETTO
123
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Page x - Each person has his own candle. When he is born, the candle is lit; when the candle goes out, he dies. You can see this mountain, Carmolina, only in your dreams, but God will not let you see your own candle, even in a dream. If there is a mistake, and you see your own candle, you will die. This is how people die in their sleep.
Page ix - Grandma was making the world for her, between her shabby old fingers. She was telling Carmolina about Italy, about the land that got lost across the sea, the land that was hidden on the other side of the world.

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