cover image Italoamericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, 1880-1943

Italoamericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, 1880-1943

Edited by Francesco Durante. Fordham Univ., $40 paper (997p) ISBN 978-0-8232-6062-1

An addition to the great tradition of Italian-American literature and culture, this anthology of fiction, poetry, plays memoir and articles features the writing of Italians in America, writing from the "Little Italys" of the period, in their mother tongue, and fills a huge gap in the canon. A sophisticated, critical look at the writings of Italian immigrants to America across all genres, includes social and political commentary, a long labor of love for American editor Robert Viscusi. This volume is a major work and forms an invaluable testament to a forgotten era of Italian literary history in the new world. As Viscusi notes in his introduction: "The dawn of legible memory for the English-speaking people who now call themselves Italian Americans mostly begins around the time they abandoned the Italian language as their primary means of verbal expression." The Italians who are represented here, spoke and wrote in Italian and all of its rich dialects. They are here, now, in English, and finally, not forgotten .A massive work of extraordinary power, that while scholarly and comprehensive, will have wide appeal. (May)