Cover image for Italoamericana : the literature of the great migration, 1880-1943
Italoamericana : the literature of the great migration, 1880-1943
Durante, Francesco, 1952- , editor.
Uniform Title:
Italoamericana. English.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fordham University Press, 2014.

Physical Description:
xxx, 997 pages ; 23 cm
Allows readers to see American society through the eyes of Italian-speaking immigrants.
General Note:
Previously published as: Italoamericana : storia e letteratura degli italiani negli Stati Uniti, 1880-1943 (Milano : Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, ©2005).
Chronicle of the Great Exodus -- Colonial chronicles -- On stage (and Off) --Anarchists, Socialists, Fascists, and Antifascists -- Integrated apocalyptics.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.I8 I847 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



To appreciate the life of the Italian immigrant enclave from the great heart of the Italian migration to its settlement in America requires that one come to know how these immigrants saw their communities as colonies of the mother country. Edited with extraordinary skill, Italoamericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, 1880-1943 brings to an English-speaking audience a definitive collection of classic writings on, about, and from the formative years of the Italian-American experience.

Originally published in Italian, this landmark collection of translated writings establishes a rich, diverse, and mature sense of Italian-American life by allowing readers to see American society through the eyes of Italian-speaking immigrants. Filled with the voices from the first generation of Italian-American life, the book presents a unique treasury of long-inaccessible writing that embodies a literary canon for Italian-American culture--poetry, drama, journalism, political advocacy, history, memoir, biography, and story--the greater part of which has never before been translated.

Italoamericana introduces a new generation of readers to the "Black Hand" and the organized crime of the 1920s, the incredible "pulp" novels by Bernardino Ciambelli, Paolo Pallavicini, Italo Stanco, Corrado Altavilla, the exhilarating "macchiette" by Eduardo Migliaccio (Farfariello) and Tony Ferrazzano, the comedies by Giovanni De Rosalia, Riccardo Cordiferro's dramas and poems, the poetry of Fanny Vanzi-Mussini and Eduardo Migliaccio.

Edited by a leading journalist and scholar, Italoamericana introduces an important but little-known, largely inaccessible Italian-language literary heritage that defined the Italian-American experience. Organized into five sections--"Annals of the Great Exodus," "Colonial Chronicles," "On Stage (and Off-Stage)," "Anarchists, Socialist, Fascists, Anti-Fascists," and "Apocalyptic Integrated / Integrated Apocalyptic Intellectuals"--the volume distinguishes a literary, cultural, and intellectual history that engages the reader in all sorts of archaeological and genealogical work.

The original volume in Italian:

Italoamericana Vol II: Storia e Letteratura degli Italiani negli Stati Uniti 1880-1943

Author Notes

Francesco Durante is a journalist as well as Professor of literature at the University of Suor Orsola Benincasa as part of the Program in Modern Languages and Culture.

Robert Viscusi, Ph.D., is professor of English and executive officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, president of the Italian American Writers Association, novelist, critic, and scholar of Italian American literature and culture, author of the epic poem Ellis Island.

Anthony Julian Tamburri, Ph.D., is dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY) and former president of the Italian American Studies Association and the American Association of Teachers of Italian. His latest book is Re-reading Italian Americana (2013).

James J. Periconi, a Manhattan attorney, exhibited his collection of more than one hundred Italian-language American imprints of authors whose works are excerpted in Italoamericana at New York's Grolier Club in 2012 and extensively catalogued these works in Strangers in a Strange Land.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

This volume is a comprehensive compilation of writings by Italian American authors. First published in Italy, edited by journalist and literary scholar Durante, the anthology covers the mass migration of Italians to the United States up to World War II. An earlier volume, encompassing the period 1776-1880, is not yet available in English. Besides the works included-essays, journalism, poetry, fiction and poetry, among other genres-this American edition has an extensive introduction by Robert Viscusi, one of its U.S. editors (additional editors include Anthony Julian Tamburri and James J. Periconi; all three are known for their research and expertise), as well as comprehensive introductions to each of its five sections: "Chronicle of the Great Exodus"; "Colonial Chronicles"; "On Stage (and Off)"; "Anarchists, Socialists, Fascists, and Antifascists"; and "Integrated Apocalyptics." There is also a brief but informative biography of each author in the anthology. Most of the pieces are from obscure Italian American sources-newspapers, journals, ephemeral literature, anthologies, etc.-housed in various libraries and archives. Not every selection, of course, is great literature (the drama inclusions, for example, are less than stellar), but plenty of well-written pieces provide literary as well as historical pleasures to anyone who dips into this anthology or reads it from beginning to end. The translations are uniformly excellent. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone interested in immigrant literature and an essential purchase for any collection of Italian American literature and culture.-Morris Hounion, New York City Coll. of Technology, Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

First published in Italian (2v., 2001, 2005), Italoamericana is in its English translation (which focuses on volume 2 of the original) a monument of Italian American scholarship. The collection represents only a fragment of the ephemeral writing of Italians in the US in the late 19th/early 20th century-a wave at one point so large that Viscusi (English, Brooklyn College), who is general editor of this US edition, calls it "the most significant fact of our entire [immigration] history." As a sampler of the political and artistic culture of Italian America, the volume opens a "world of extraordinary wealth and complexity ... clarity and emotional balance" sufficient to replace the flat "abject narrative" of Guidos and godfathers. In its girth, the volume is a metaphorical feast, suggesting both the collective heft of the rediscovered output and the unique works still waiting to be discovered. (That said, like some feasts it may be literally too big: the book is difficult to pick up to read and unsettling in its mix of tones and translation skills.) All readers, be they experts or novices, will want to start with Viscusi's masterful introduction to the US edition and will return to it again and again. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --Flavia Alaya, Ramapo College of New Jersey