An Annotated Bibliography of Italian American Studies

Non-Fiction and Autobiographies

Page 23: from Arrighi to Lentricchia

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Arrighi, Antonio A. The Story of Antonio, the Galley Slave. New York: F. H. Revell Co., 1911.
[One of the earliest immigrant narratives in which an Italian political exile, from the failed 1848-49 revolution in Italy, struggles to make a new life in America.]
Barolini, Helen. Festa: Recipes and Recollections. New York: Harcourt, 1988.
[A combination of life and the pursuit of good food, this collection of recipes and memories give substance and credence to her phrase "Mangiando, Ricordo," "by eating I remember."]
Barolini, Helen. Ed. Chiaroscuro: Essays on Italian-american Culture. W. Lafayette, IN: Bordighera. 1996.
[These personal and critical essays offer a multi-layered account of the rediscovery of identity of one of Italian America’s leading writers.]
Bernardi, Adria. Houses with Names. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
[A series of personal essays based on northern Italian immigrant oral histories and the imaginative recollections of a young Italian-American women writer.]
Buscaglia, Leo. Papa, My Father. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1989.
[Recollections of an immigrant father’s life by a son who has made his career as an inspirational speaker]
Canzoneri, Robert. A Highly Ramified Tree. New York: The Viking Press, 1976.
[A collection of sketches covering the author’s experiences growing up in Mississippi and features portraits of his Sicilian relatives in the U.S. and Sicily.]
---. I Do So Politely: a Voice from the South. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965.
[This analysis of Italian life in Mississippi is a cross between sociological reporting and fiction.]
Cateura, Linda Brandi. Growing up Italian. New York: William Morrow, 1987.
[How being brought up as an Italian American helped shape the characters, lives and fortunes of twenty-four celebrated Americans including interviews with Mario Cuomo, Eleanor Cutri Smeal, Gay Talese, Tony Bennett, Joseph Cardinal Bernadin, Yogi Berra, John Ciardi, Frank Stella, Daniella Gioseffi and others.]
Corsi, Edward. In the Shadow of Liberty. New York: Macmillan, 1935.
[An immigrant recounts his experiences of becoming an American.]
Covello, Leonard and D'Agostino, Guido. The Heart Is the Teacher. New York: McGraw Hill, 1958.
[Covello’s life story, assisted by novelist D’Agostino, recounts his experience as an immigrant child who become a leader in New York and national education.]
Cuomo, Mario M. Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo. New York: Random House, 1984.
[Written in the tradition of Italian intellectual autobiographies, Cuomo’s Diaries, are proof that his eloquence and compassion were earned through his experience as an Italian American.]
D’Angelo, Pascal. Son of Italy. New York: Macmillan, 1924.
[D'Angelo's story of his rise from illiterate pick and shovel immigrant to a "hunger artist" citizen of literary America (through his winning of a national poetry contest) can be read as a version of the American success story modeled after Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.]
D’Alessandro, Edward A. The Ginney Block: Reminiscences of an Italian-american Dead-end Street Kid. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1988.
[A collection of vignettes of 1930s life in an early Italian community in Cleveland, Ohio.]
Di Prima, Diane. Memoirs of a Beatnik. 1969. San Francisco: Last Gasp Press, 1988.
[The first, major autobiography by an Italian-American woman Memoirs covers the early adulthood of this poet who was one of the only women identified with the infamous "Beat" movement.]
---. Recollections of My Life as a Woman. New York: Viking, 1995.
[di Prima goes back to the troubled times before she left home (when Memoirs begins) and uncovers the family secrets that haunted her into the early years of her adulthood.]
Ets, Marie Hall. Rosa: the Life of an Italian Immigrant. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970.
[Narrated to Marie Hall Ets, a social worker at a Chicago settlement house for poor immigrants, Rosa documents a young girl's life in an impoverished northern Italian village, and her forced immigration to America to join her husband (through a marriage arranged by her stepmother who would not allow Rosa to marry a man to whom Rosa had declared her love).]
Gambino, Richard. Blood of My Blood: the Dilemma of the Italian-Americans. New York: Doubleday, 1974.
[Gambino illustrates his pioneer study of Italian-American culture with anecdotes from his life in Brooklyn.]
Harrison, Barbara Grizzuti. Off Center: Essays. New York: The Dial Press, 1980.
[A collection of personal and critical essays on a variety of subjects including her Brooklyn upbringing.]
---. The Astonishing World. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1992.
[Her essays cover a variety of subjects including the Italian American family, Bensonhurst, and Italy.]
---. Italian Days. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1990.
[An account of the author’s travels through Italy.]
Higdon, Rose Musacchio and Higdon, Hal . Falconara: a Family Odyssey. Michigan City, IN: Roadrunner Press, 1993.
[The story of a family odyssey from Italy to America told by a husband and wife team who travels back in search of roots.]
Lentricchia, Frank. The Edge of Night. New York, Random House, 1994.
[Lentricchia's imaginative autobiography focuses on a period covering a little over a year of his life, refuses to speak for an entire culture and concentrates on his own personal struggle to form an identity composed of a working class childhood and a middle-class adulthood.]

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