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

by Maria Laurino

  • ISBN: 9780393049305
  • ISBN10: 0393049302

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

by Maria Laurino

  • List Price: $23.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publish date: 07/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780393049305
  • ISBN10: 0393049302
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Description: "Were you always an Italian?" was the question with which then-Governor Mario Cuomo greeted journalist Maria Laurino. The question struck home. Laurino was exploring the governor's ethnic roots, yet only a few years earlier she had contemplated chopping the vowels off the end of her name.

Mixing memoir, social and cultural history, and reporting, Laurino sifts through the stereotypes bedeviling Italian-Americans. With a sympathetic but clear eye, she writes about guidos, bimbettes, and mammoni (mama's boys in Italy). She examines the clashing aesthetics of Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, and unravels the etymology of southern Italian dialect words like gavone or bubidabetz. And, careful to avoid the perils of nostalgia, she explores the pungent influence on her life of ancestral Italian attitudes towards family, work, and faith.

Warmly personal and cleverly objective, Laurino's work is surprising on every page. It is both a celebration of a group often overlooked in literature and a long-overdue critique of romanticized ideas of "ethnicity" -- a book that should appeal to the children and grandchildren of every immigrant to America.

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Seller: Owls Books
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Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include
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Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include
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8vo, 219 pp., Gift inscription on front pastedown.
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Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 219 p. Audience:
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Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 219 p. Audience:
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