This memoir is an ensemble of family portraits that documents Italian life on both sides of the Atlantic. From its starting point in Brooklyn of the 1940s, this book — part lyric novel, part creative non-fiction — travels from the author's first known universe, the family, out into the world. The family is portrayed fiercely and lovingly, its members recalled with the perspective of a child and the heart and mind of an adult. It is out in the world that the author-narrator negotiates the many facets of the italian American, of Italy and America, of the immigrant and native. 'The Gringo' discovers that he can travel to Italy but he can't get out of Brooklyn. What it means to the author to be Italian American is found as much as in the individual stories themselves as in the ways the stories respond to each other in the mosaic of this memoir, calling out to each other across the distance of language, generation, and ethnicity.

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