Description : "An intense, incantatory, erotic novel . . . An exquisitely calibrated evocation of longing and lust."--Vogue Abandoned by her lover of ten years and devastated by the painful death of her brother, an American writer named Catherine comes to live and heal her wounds in the lush, crisp, light-dappled French Riviera. But the sensual magic of summertime only underscores Catherine's longing, as she falls deeper and deeper into an irretrievable madness. With passionate abandon and detachment, Catherine pursues her own destruction through brief but irresistible sexual encounters with an Arlesian woman, a fireman, a poet, and three thieves, until she meets Lucien, a man who looks as if he "stepped out of an unmade film by dead Truffant," and who she senses to be her match in solitude and beauty. Through this mysterious, doomed, bittersweet liaison Catherine makes one last attempt to halt her decline, only to face the shattering, inevitable conclusion of this mesmerizing drama of sex, betrayal, and dissolution. Author Carole Maso's nuanced storytelling manipulates language with the graceful precision of a stained glass artisan--refracting reality, casting light, and dazzling with color the erotic adventures of a woman and the inner life of an artist inspired and doomed by desire. "Gorgeous . . . an outpouring of passion."--San Francisco Chronicle "Terse, musical and hypnotic . . . Maso tracks with horrifying authenticity the downward spiral of Catherine's depression."--Los Angeles Times "A fever dream of love and sanctuary."--Elle
Description : Mary Cappello, Louise DeSalvo, Sandra M. Gilbert, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Carole Maso, Agnes Rossi. These are some of the best-known Italian American writers today. They are part of a literary tradition with mid-twentieth century roots that began to develop, in earnest, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During those decades, a number of Italian American women, such as Helen Barolini, began to publish books that depicted their perspectives on life through the critical lenses of gender, class, and ethnicity. At the end of the twentieth century, this literature finally blossomed into a fully fledged cultural movement that also took into account issues of sexuality, age, illness, and familial and societal abuse. Writing with an Accent takes a look at this vibrant literary movement by discussing those first writers of the 1970s and 1980s as well as later authors. At the center of Edvige Giunta s Writing with an Accent is the literal notion of accent, the marker of linguistic and cultural difference that separates and identifies recent immigrants to the United States. In this study, an accent symbolically embodies the differences and creative strategies through which contemporary Italian American women writers engage Italian American culture in works of fiction, poetry, and memoir. Giunta also looks at the links between the literature and art, music, film, and video produced by contemporary Italian American women. The literature of the Italian American women in Writing with an Accent is shaped by the complicated connections these authors maintain with their cultural origins, but also, and perhaps more importantly, by their feminist consciousness and politicized sense of ethnic identity. Writing with an Accent celebrates and explores a group of authors who characteristically mix the joy and pain of Italian American life to paint a multifaceted picture of Italian American women and their complex place in U.S. culture.
Description : How does ones heritage impact creativity? Breaking Open explores the deep connection between prominent Italian American women writers, their heritage, and their writing. In-depth discussions of these writers' family traditions and memories of growing up in an American culture as an Italian child, including the difficulties of dueling dialects and dual cultures, explain how their unique cultural connections have impacted their work. For many of these writers, there has been a distinctive separation between their involvement with their families, immersed as they were in the culture the immigrants brought to this country, and their eventual rise to positions of prominence in academic or literary circles in the United States. While reading Breaking Open, readers are encouraged to determine for themselves whether or not this is the case. In trying to establish a unified identity, Italian American women writers face conflicting home values, those steeped in the traditions of the Italians (immigrants) and those values emerging out of a sense of what it means to be Italian-American. These differing views are further confounded by the beliefs of the overarching American society. As writers, they discuss the ways these conflicts are represented in their works and discuss the ways their childhood memories of immigrants and their practices have been a strong foundation for their creativity. In addition, five scholars in the field of Italian American literature critically analyze works by many of the creative writers in this anthology and discuss the future of the field.
Description : The American Novel Now navigates the vast terrain of the American novel since 1980, exploring issues of identity, history, family, nation, and aesthetics, as well as cultural movements and narrative strategies from over seventy different authors and novels. Discusses an exceptionally wide-range of authors and novels, from established figures to significant emerging writers Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, Kathy Acker and many more Explores the range of themes and styles offered in the wealth of contemporary American fiction since 1980, in both mainstream and experimental writings Reflects the liveliness and diversity of American fiction in the last thirty years Written in a style that makes it ideal for students and scholars, while also accessible for general readers
Description : This Encyclopedia is an indispensible reference guide to twentieth-century fiction in the English-language. With nearly 500 contributors and over 1 million words, it is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference guide to twentieth-century fiction in the English language. Contains over 500 entries of 1000-3000 words written in lucid, jargon-free prose, by an international cast of leading scholars Arranged in 3 volumes covering British and Irish Fiction, American Fiction, and World Fiction, with each volume edited by a leading scholar in the field Entries cover major writers (such as Saul Bellow, Raymond Chandler, John Steinbeck, Virginia Woolf, A.S Byatt, Samual Beckett, D.H. Lawrence, Zadie Smith, Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Alice Munro, Chinua Achebe, J.M. Coetzee, and Ngūgī Wa Thiong’o) and their key works Covers the genres and sub-genres of fiction in English across the twentieth century (including crime fiction, sci fi, chick lit, the noir novel, and the avante garde novel) as well as the major movements, debates, and rubrics within the field (censorship, globalization, modernist fiction, fiction and the film industry, and the fiction of migration, Diaspora, and exile)
Description : Offers information and insights The many available scholarly works on Italian Americans are of little practical help to the undergraduate or high school student who needs background information when reading contemporary fiction with Italian characters, watching films that require a familiarity with Italian Americans, or looking at works of art that can be fully appreciated only if one understands Italian culture. This basic reference work for non-specialists and students offers quick insights and essential, easy-to-grasp information on Italian American contributions to American art, music, literature, motion pictures, and cultural life. Spotlights the uniquely Italian in American Life This rich legacy is examined in a collection of original essays that range from portrayals of Italian characters in the films of Francis Coppola to Italian American poetry, from the art of Frank Stella to the music of Frank Zappa, from a survey of Italian folk customs to an analysis of the evolutionof Italian American biography. Comprising 22 lengthy essays written specifically for this volume, the book identifies what is uniquely Italian in American life and examines how Italian customs, traditions, social mores, and cultural antecedents have wrought their influence on the American character. Filled with insights, trenchant observations, and ethnic facts and fictions, this volume is a valuable source of information for scholars, researchers, and students interested in pinpointing and examining the cultural, intellectual, and social influence of Italian immigrants and their successors. Includes an Extensive Lexicon of Important Terms This informative lexicon provides definitions of Italian terms that are central to the Italian American experience and that serve as indexes of the Italian American worldview. Whenever appropriate, the editor refers readers to a source in which the meaning of the term is more fully explored. Excerpt from a sample Lexicon entry: alfresco:adv., adj.: outdoors, literally "in the cool," meaning fresh air: an Italian phrase now used in English as in the expression "diningal fresco". Conflating the idea that Italian cuisine is admirably suited to be eaten in the open air and the image of the Mediterranean climate,al frescohas become a signifier of the pleasurable way in which Italian life is conducted. Excerpts from the book: "Madonna fully plays out the Madonna/puttana (and its darker variation, Madonna/dominatrix) identities and her own internal division between sacred and profane; when she is good she is very bad, and when she is bad, she is very good."-from "Madonna: The Postmodern Diva as Maculate Conception" by Fosca D'Acierno, "I hate the hoity-toity view of art which is pretentious, airy, and filled with moral meanings. Most critics and scholars have no direct contact with artists; they would be uncomfortable with them. They pretend to talk about works of art, but in fact they are quitedifferent from artists in personality. I have repeatedly said that the artist has more in common with the car mechanic -- getting yourself dirty -- which is why I have enormous rapport with artists."-from "Italian Catholic in My Bones: A Conversation with Camille Paglia" by Camille Paglia and Thomas J. Ferraro * "If a piece of bread falls to the floor, it should be kissed and blessed with the sign of the cross. Bread should not be wasted, nor should one pierce it with knife or fork. Bread should be one of the first items brought into a new home, and keeping at least a crust of this food staple in the cupboard warded off famine."-from "Bread and Wine in Italian-American Folk Culture" by Frances M. Malpezzi and William M. Clement
Description : While her father and best friend are dying, a young American woman tries to find the limits of love and the power of art in the face of the inevitable. While her father and best friend are dying, a young American woman tries to find the limits of love and the power of art in the face of the inevitable. What is the power of art in the face of death? In The Art Lover Carole Maso has created an elegant and moving narrative about a woman experiencing (and reliving) the most painful transitions of her life. Caroline, the novel's protagonist, returns to New York after the death of her fatherostensibly to wrap things up and take care of necessary "business"where her memory and imagination conspire to lay before her all her griefs and joys in a rebellious progression. In different voices, employing a collage-like fragmentation, Maso gently unfolds The Art Lover in much the same way the fragile and prehistoric fiddlehead fern unfolds throughout the novel, bringing with subtle grace the ever-entangled feelings of grief and love into full and tender view. Various illustrations throughout.
Description : Beauty is Convulsive is a biographical meditation on one of the twentieth century's most compelling and famous artists, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). At the age of nineteen, Kahlo's life was transformed when the bus in which she was riding was hit by a trolley car. Pierced by a steel handrail and broken in many places, she entered a long period of convalescence during which she began to paint self-portraits. In 1928, at twenty-one, she joined the Communist Party and came to know Diego Rivera. The forty-one-year-old Rivera, Mexico's most famous painter, was impressed by the force of Kahlo's personality and by the authenticity of her art, and the two soon married. Though they were devoted to each other, intermittent affairs on both sides, Frida's grief over her inability to bear a child, and her frequent illnesses made the marriage tumultuous. This prose poem is typical Maso--vigorous, daring, always original. She brings together parts of Kahlo's biography, her letters, medical documents, and her diaries with language that is often as erotic and colorful as Kahlo's paintings.:: "Maso's precise and poetic prose ... brims with emotion, imagination, intelligence, and beauty," Review of Contemporary Fiction:: ..". a supple, discerning, and haunting prose poem, a biographical meditation that elegantly charts Kahlo's epic resiliency, artistic daring, unrelenting suffering, soul-saving 'sense of the ridiculous, ' and glorious defiance. Maso's spare yet lyric tribute, a genuine communion, is a welcome antidote to the mawkishness and sensationalism that is starting to blur our appreciation for Kahlo's pioneering art and incandescent spirit," Booklist
Description : A mediation on life and death, being and non-being, and the intense mystery and beauty of existence, Masos new novel follows a mother and child as they roam through wondrous and increasingly dangerous psychic and physical terrain A great wind comes, an ancient tree splits in half and a bat, or is it an angel, enters the house where the mother and child sleep, and in an instant a world of relentless change, of spectacular consequences, of submerged memory, and uncanny intimations is set into motion. It is as if a veil has lifted, and what was once hidden is now in plain sight in all its splendor and terror as the mother and child are asked to bear enormous transformations and a terrible wisdom almost impossible to fathom. As the outside can no longer be separated from the inside, nor dream from reality, the mother and child continue, encountering along the way all kinds of characters and creatures as they move through a surreal world of grace and dread to the end. The bond between Mother and Child is untouchable, unrealizable until it is lost, and this meditation pushes the envelope, inching ever closer to touching it, to realizing it.