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Mary Ann Mannino: Revisionary Identities

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Revisionary Identities

Revisionary Identities: Strategies of Empowerment in the Writing of Italian American Women by MARY ANN VIGILANTE MANNINO

PETER LANG PUBLISHING, 275 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001.

Customer Service 800-770-5264, 212-647-7706, Fax 212-647-7707 Email:

Website: HARD COVER: $53.95 (US) 216 PAGES 9 ISBN 0-8204-48532 September 2000

Italian Americans, the fifth-largest ethnic group in the United States, make up a large segment of the population. It is only recently that the daughters and grand daughters of Italian immigrants have begun to write fiction and poetry about their experiences as Italian American women. Revisionary Identities focuses on the writings of these women and argues that their works reveal a new identity that is composed of both Italian and American elements, but which is neither completely Italian nor totally American. For these writers the categories of race, class, gender, and religion blur causing conflicts, which they try to resolve by imagining an all-powerful immigrant grandmother with whom they form a bond.

Advance Praise for Revolutionary Identities:

"Mary Ann Vigilante Mannino's analysis of the effects of Italian/ American and American culture on the authors in her book, Revisionary Identities, is acutely insightful. Dr. Mannino is a vigilant observer and astute analyst of the sociological dynamics in the writings of these authors. I found her study fascinating and very applicable to an understanding of female empowerment in American culture. She grasps the psychological inner workings of the literary characters in these writings perfectly." -- Daniela Gioseffi, American Book Award-winning author; Member PEN; National Book Critics Circle.

"Dr. Mannino has written the first book-length study of the revisionary practices of Italian/American women writers informed by recent developments in critical theory. Her central thesis--ltalian/American women writers form themselves as authors by imaginatively identifyingwith their peasant grandmothers--refutes definitively simple-minded assimilationist theories of American national identity, and demonstrates the importance of feminist concerns in shaping the works of these writers. This is a lucid, practical, and first-rate study, sure to be a major source of future scholarly work in this field."
-- Dan 0. Hara, Professor of English, Temple University

"In one of the first and most important scholarly studies on Italian/ American women writers per se, Dr. Mannino has, via subtle and perceptive literary and theoretical analysis, fulfilled her 'dream of writing about ... women who, despite great odds, inscribe the values and dreams of the southern Italian peasants into American literature.' Effectively employing the state-ofthe-art and contemporary criticism she elucidates how mostly living and still creative Italian/American women authors incorporate into their poetry and narrative major themes of finding roots, crossing borders, relating to others, connecting to ethnic heritage via grandmothers, imagining these matriarchs as feminists, and integrating their own consciousness as mestiza. This book is among the few and precious groundbreakers in a field that deserves recognition along with similar studies in African/Hispanic/Asian/American women's literature."
-- Justin Vitiello, Professor of Italian, Temple University

"Dr. Mannino's critical study introduces the wealth of writing by Italian American women. Examining the strategies of liberation these women take to explore relationships, Dr. Mannino importantly extends the fascinating conversation occurring within Italian/American literary and cultural studies." -- Mary Jo Bona, Author of Claiming a Tradition: Italian American Women Writers

Poems by Mary Ann Mannino

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