Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Stories

Paola Corso, Univ. of Wisconsin/Terrace, $21.95 (114p) ISBN 978-0-299-24840-6
Corso follows an Italian family through four generations from the Calabrian town of San Procopio to Pittsburgh in this fable-like follow-up to Giovanna’s 86 Circles. In “The Rise and Fall of Antonio del Negro,” Antonio and his wife, Celina, are killed during a socialist uprising in1919 San Procopio, Antonio in a fall from his roof, Celina from a stray bullet.. Only Celina’s vision of the family someday owning their own land gives her 11-year-old son, Giorgio, the strength to overcome his fear of heights to climb up to the roof where Celina lays mortally wounded. Celina’s vision of the land becomes the unifying factor for all these characters. “St. Odo’s Curse” finds Giorgio, now married with a family of his own, loath to leave their struggling farm for America, as his wife wishes, even though, in the summer months, crevices open up suddenly in the earth and “swallow up” pedestrians. The elements are just as unforgiving in America, the del Negros learn in “Hell and High Water,” during the 1936 flood in Pittsburgh. Through each generation, the family’s tribulations take on near-mythological weight, until Celestina’s grown daughter, Celeste, returns to San Procopio. Though the heavy focus on family legend begins to feel claustrophobic, the stories, individually, find moments of inspired, ethereal revelation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/16/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-299-24843-7
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