Were You Always an Italian?: Ancestors and Other Icons of Italian America

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Literary Collections - 219 pages
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Maria Laurino sifts through the stereotypes bedeviling Italian Americans to deliver a penetrating and hilarious examination of third-generation ethnic identity. With "intelligence and honesty" (Arizona Republic), she writes about guidos, bimbettes, and mammoni (mama's boys in Italy); examines the clashing aesthetics of Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace; and unravels the etymology of southern Italian dialect words like gavone and bubidabetz. According to Frances Mayes, she navigates the conflicting forces of ethnicity "with humor and wisdom."
 

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WERE YOU ALWAYS AN ITALIAN?: Ancestors and Other Icons of Life in Italian America

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Three generations in America doesn't necessarily take the sting out of being an immigrant, as described in this appealing and sometimes thought-provoking memoir that moves from suburban New Jersey to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - librarygeek33 - LibraryThing

Enjoyment of this book is significantly improved if one is of an Italian American background and, more specifically, of southern Italian ancestry. The reason for this is the heavy use of references to ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Beginnings
13
Tainted Soil
30
Clothes
54
Rome
77
Words
100
Bensonhurst
121
Faith
156
Work
175
Ancestors
188
Beginnings
215
Acknowledgments
217

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About the author (2001)

Maria Laurino is a journalist & essayist living in New York City. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the "New York Times" & the "Village Voice".

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