Showing posts with label Italian American Authors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian American Authors. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Italian American Authors and Italian Themed Books 2023 List

Italian American Themed Books and Authors
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Back in 2009 I started this post with the latest Italian American authors and Italian themed books due to the large amount of inquiries I was receiving to either review or give recommendations.  I thought what better way to help support our community than creating a top list of Italian themed book and Italian American authors. Click on each of the books to get more information to the individual books. 

-Cafe Firenze- Fabio Viviani & Jacapo Falleni

-The Youngest Son- Oreste Leroy Salerni
-Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen --Judy Witts Francini

-Con Amore- Janice Therese Mancuso

-La Bella Lingua- Dianne Hales

-Never Trust A Thin Cook-- Eric Dregni

-The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken- Laura Schenone

-Old World Daughter New World Mother-- Maria Laurino

-Midnight in Rome-- Michael H. Gyulai

-Harlot's Sauce-- Patricia Volonakis Davis

-My Cousin The Saint- Justin Catanoso

-Searching for Pemberley and The Second Date--Mary Lydon Simonsen

-Italian Heritage Books- By Leon J. Radomile

-101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle: A Cheeky Book with Tidbits of Advice for a Glamorous Lifestyle -- Dawn Del Russo

-Gravy Wars: By Lorraine Ranalli

If you are an Italian American author and would like to be included on this list, please send an email an to - Also, if you are on this list from 2009, and would like something updated, please also send an email. 

Thank you. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

10 Reasons to Fall in Love with the Italian Language: By Award-Winning Author; Dianne Hales

falling in love
by Dianne Hales
No English word quite captures the sensation of innamoramento, of falling head-over-heels in love, way beyond bewitched, bothered, and bewildered. But that’s what I am—an innamorata, enchanted by Italian, fascinated by its history, tantalized by its adventures, addicted to its sounds, and ever eager to spend more time in its company.

Why fall in love with this luscious language? Here are my top ten reasons:

1. Italian is “beautiful, fun and sexy.” That’s how people perceive Italy and its language, Stephen Brockman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, observes in an essay called “In Defense of European Languages.” “Why not?” he adds. “I can’t see anything wrong with that.” Neither can I.

2. No other language is more romantic. All the Romance languages evolved from the volgare (vernacular) of ancient Rome, yet none may have so many seductive ways of expressing amore: Ti amo, mio tesoro (I love you, my darling). Ti adoro (I adore you). Sei l’amore della mia vita (You are the love of my life). Vieni qui e baciami (Come here and kiss me.)

3. Everything sounds better in Italian. An ordinary towel becomes an asciugamano; a handkerchief, a fazzoletto; a dog leash, a guinzaglio. In English garbage is trash. In Italian, it’s spazzatura.

4. You can use your hands—a lot! In Italian speaking without gestures is like writing without punctuation. Hands become commas, exclamation points and question marks. Who even needs words when a tug at a bottom eyelid translates into "Attenzione!" ("Watch out! Pay attention!") and a straight line drawn in the air as “Perfetto!” (For more Italian gestures, click here.)

5. Italian has become the new French. With only an estimated 60 to 63 million native speakers, Italian ranks fourth among the most studied languages—after English, Spanish, and French, which Italian now rivals as a language of culture and refinement.

6. You can immerse yourself in an Italian masterpiece. You can’t sculpt like Michelangelo, paint like Leonardo, or design like Armani. But you can read and speak the language that 14th century poets—Dante first and foremost—crafted from the effervescent Tuscan vernacular.

7. Speaking Italian may be the closest many of us get to singing. What makes Italian so musical are its vigorous vocali (vowels): An Italian “a” slides up from the throat into an ecstatic “aaaah.” Its “e” cheers like the hearty “ay” at the end of hip-hip-hooray. The “i” glides with the glee of the double e in bee. The “o” is an English “o” on steroids; the macho “u” lunges into the air like a penalty kick from Italy’s national soccer team, the Azzurri (Blues).

8. Italian may be our universal mother tongue. Dating back almost three millennia, its primal sounds—virtually identical to those that roared through Roman amphitheaters thousands of years ago—strike a chord in our universal linguistic DNA. According to some scholars, Italian may come closer than any other language to expressing what it means to be human.

9. You’re never too young—or too old—to learn Italian. Within weeks in an all-Italian class, English-speaking preschoolers understand everything happening around them. It takes longer as we get older, but learning a second language later in life offers an extra benefit: it helps stave off dementia.

10. Italians. British author E.M. Forster urged visitors to drop “that awful tourist idea that Italy’s only a museum of antiquities and art.” His advice: “Love and understand the Italians for the people are more marvelous than the land.” Indeed they are. And if you’re of Italian descent, cherish Italy’s language as a marvelous part of your heritage.

Dianne Hales is the author of the best-selling La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language.

Get the Book:

Click below to hear more about how I fell in love with Italian:

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Italian American Themed Books & Authors 2019!

Here is a list of some incredible Italian American themed books and or Italian American authors. The list is growing as we speak. I encourage you to click on their links and read on each one, they are fantastic.

-Cafe Firenze- Fabio Viviani & Jacapo Falleni

-The Youngest Son- Oreste Leroy Salerni
-Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen --Judy Witts Francini

-Con Amore- Janice Therese Mancuso

-La Bella Lingua- Dianne Hales

-Never Trust A Thin Cook-- Eric Dregni

-The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken- Laura Schenone

-Old World Daughter New World Mother-- Maria Laurino

-Midnight in Rome-- Michael H. Gyulai

-Harlot's Sauce-- Patricia Volonakis Davis

-My Cousin The Saint- Justin Catanoso

-Searching for Pemberley and The Second Date--Mary Lydon Simonsen

-Italian Heritage Books- By Leon J. Radomile

-101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle: A Cheeky Book with Tidbits of Advice for a Glamorous Lifestyle -- Dawn Del Russo
-Gravy Wars: By Lorraine Ranalli
-The Secret Diary of an Italian Girl - Dosi Controneo

If you're an author, publisher or avid reader with great suggestions and would like to be part of this list, please email me with "Italian American Themed Books/Authors" as the subject. 
margaret at italianamericangirl dot com 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chapman University Announces Lineup for 14th Annual Author Festival: Focus on Italian Writers

Chapman University’s 14th Annual John Fowles Literary Series, the university’s acclaimed yearly festival of visiting, internationally recognized novelists, poets and playwrights -- will focus on world-renowned Italian writers this year, and will also include a special appearance by an Israeli-born novelist who is the university’s 2011 writer-in-residence.

The series is sponsored by Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles, Associated Students of Chapman University, Citrus City Grille, and Chapman’s Department of English and Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Chapman’s John Fowles Literary Series was named in honor of the late British author of such novels as “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” and “The Magus,” who was a friend of the series’ founder, Chapman English professor Mark Axelrod, and appeared in the series’ first year.

Monday, March 7 at 7 pm


Dacia Maraini, daughter of a Sicilian princess and famed as the longtime companion of novelist Alberto Moravia, is a world-acclaimed author and playwright. She has won many awards for her work, including the Formentor Prize for “L'età del malessere” (“The Age of Discontent,” 1963); the Premio Fregene for “Isolina” (1985); the Premio Campiello and Book of the Year Award for “La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa” (“The Silent Duchess,” 1990); and the Premio Strega for “Buio” (1999). She co-founded the Teatro del Porcospino, devoted to producing new Italian works, and established Rome’s feminist experimental theatre La Maddalena. Her play “Mary Stuart” has been performed in New York and on stages around the world, and her other plays continue to be translated and widely performed.

Monday, March 21 at 7 pm

ASSAF GAVRON – 2011 Writer-in-Residence at Chapman University

The son of English immigrants to Israel, Assaf Gavron was born in a small village near Jerusalem in 1968, and currently lives in Berlin. He is this year’s Shusterman Foundation Writer-in-Residence at Chapman University. Gavron has published four novels (“Ice,” “Moving,” “Almost Dead” and “Hydromania”), a collection of short stories (“Sex in the Cemetery”), and a non-fiction collection of Jerusalem falafel-joint reviews (“Eating Standing Up”). His English translation of “Almost Dead” was published in 2010. Among the prizes he has won are the Israeli Geffen award for the novel “Hydromania,” and the prestigious DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship in Germany.

Monday, April 4 at 7 pm


Erri De Luca, recently named "writer of the decade" by the influential newspaper Corriere della Sera, was born in Naples, Italy in 1950. His first book, published in 1989, was “Non Ora, Non Qui” (“Not Now, Not Here”). Many more books have followed and have become best sellers throughout Europe and in the U.S. Self-taught in several languages, including ancient Hebrew and Yiddish, De Luca has translated several books of the Bible into Italian and explored various aspects of Judaism as a non-believer. He writes regularly for various Italian newspapers and magazines, lives in a remote cottage in the countryside outside Rome, and regularly pursues his passion for mountain climbing.

Monday, April 11 at 7 pm


Paolo Giordano, born in Turin in 1982, is a professional physicist. His first novel, “La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi” (“The Solitude of Prime Numbers”), took Italy by storm, sold more than a million copies, and won the nation’s most illustrious book award, the Premio Strega, in 2008. The book, which has been translated into English and more than 30 other languages, tells the tale of a man and woman, Mattia and Alice, both traumatized in their youth in ways which leave them unable to relate normally to the world around them. Though they are drawn to each other, timing and awkwardness keep their relationship on tenuous ground. Giordano’s spare yet beautiful prose asks whether there are those among us who, like prime numbers, are destined always to be alone and apart.

Monday, April 25 at 7 pm


Italian poet, novelist and translator Giuseppe Conte published his debut book of poetry, “La Parola Innamorata” in 1978. His follow-up, 1988’s “La Stagione,” was awarded the Montale Prize. His other poetry books include “L’Ultimo Aprile Bianco” (“The Last White April”), “Dialogo del Poeta e del Messaggero” (“Dialogue Between the Poet and the Messenger”) and “Canti d’Oriente e d’Occidente (“Songs of the East and the West”). His novels include “Il Terzo Ufficiale” (“The Third Officer”) and “La Casa della Onde” (“The House of the Waves”). Conte has translated many English works into Italian, including those of Shelley, D.H. Lawrence, Walt Whitman and William Blake.

Monday, May 2 at 7 pm


Born in Budapest in 1937, Giorgio Pressburger does not write in his native Hungarian but in his adoptive Italian, and has often reflected in his talks and writings upon this choice of language. He left Hungary after the Russian invasion in 1956, and settled in Italy, where he studied biology in Rome and worked in theater and film. His novel “The Law of White Spaces” won the Independent Foreign Fiction Award in 1992. His other works include the novel “Teeth and Spies” and the short story collection “Snow and Guilt.” His most recent novel, “Nel Regno Oscuro” (2008), inspired by Dante’s Inferno, describes a journey to hell which is also a meditation on the 20th century and Pressburger’s personal losses.

The author talks – all free and open to the public – will be held in the Henley Reading Room on the second floor of Chapman’s Leatherby Libraries. Book signings will follow all readings, and each author’s books will be available for sale.

For more information, the public can call 714-532-6026.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Italian American Author, Patricia Volonakis Davis, Tells A Personal Story & The Importance of Mashed Potatoes.

I'm a first-generation Italian-American. That slash says it all. It means that though I was born in the United States, walk American and, for the most part, talk American, my blood corpuscles are suffused with foreign tendencies for which science has yet to find an antidote. One of those predilections is this: if I invite guests to my home and discover that I didn’t make sufficient quantities of every food to feed them all, I’ll drop down dead of mortification, right then. I mean that. Since I don’t want to die yet, I’m always on my guard against this happening, wanting to make very sure I have “enough.”

The problem is my view and my second husband’s view of ‘enough’ are very different. My second husband is just “American.” No slashes. His family came over to the U.S. while not on The Mayflower, probably on the next boat after that one. My theory is that, at one point on that trip, the passengers forgot how to cook, and even more importantly, how to measure portions. That’s why when I met him, he was malnourished, and now, at age 55, after nine years of living together, I’ve only managed to put ten pounds on him. He still wears a size 34 waist trousers. On those last two points alone I rest my argument that “real” Americans don’t know how to eat the way we “Something-slash Americans” do. It’s because of this that I didn’t believe him when he told me we had “plenty” of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner last year.

You have to understand how important the mashed potatoes are at my house. I’ve only recently discovered they’re my stepsons’ favorite food. “Mashed potatoes with homemade gravy” is what they specifically requested when I asked them what they’d like me to make with Thanksgiving turkey. And though it surprised me that this was their primary choice, since it’s such a simple thing, I set out to make the best mashed potatoes and homemade gravy they’d ever tasted. I even bought two turkeys, so I could roast one turkey the night before, use the pan drippings from that turkey to make the gravy way ahead of the time it would be needed, just to be sure it came out right.

The gravy turned out well, but it was the mashed potatoes that had me worried. I made those on the Wednesday before, too, then held up the bowl full and asked my husband, “Hon ─ does this look like enough?”

He barely glanced at them. “It’s fine.”

What did ‘fine’ mean? “Fine” as an answer was another Americanism of his. I just can never trust that response.

Luckily, Tim came into the kitchen. Tim is the youngest of the ‘steps.’ Apart from many other endearing qualities, he’s got a great sense of humor. I didn’t know he was about to use it on me.

“Tim, tell me the truth ─ is this enough mashed potatoes for tomorrow’s dinner?"

“Oh, here we go again,” interjected my husband. “There’s plenty.”

“Be quiet, I’m not asking you,” I admonished him. “I remember the first time you invited me to your place. I lost three pounds in two days.”

Tim started laughing, but my husband looked shocked. “What?”

“It’s true. Not that I couldn’t afford to lose them, but that’s not the point. Nobody ever gets enough to eat when you’re in charge of the meals.”

Tim was still laughing as his father stuttered in protest. I looked over at him and asked again. “Really, Tim, is this enough?”

At once Tim realized how vital the answer to this question was for me. So he stopped laughing at looked at me deadpan, “Well…if it’s just for me and my brothers…sure.”

With that, I turned to my husband and said smugly, “See? I told you.” And before either one of them could say anything more, I grabbed my car keys and headed towards the door. “I’m going to get more potatoes.”

“Wait ─ I was only joking!” Tim called after me, but it was too late. I came home an hour later with eight more Idaho potatoes (and three more sweet potatoes, because I wasn’t sure we had enough of those, either.) And as I boiled and mashed my second batch, both Tim and Pete were chuckling.

The two bowls of mashed potatoes were the last items out of the oven Thanksgiving Day. Having been made the day before, they needed thorough reheating. The original bowl made it to the table just fine, along with the sweet potatoes with bananas, baked apples with cranberry sauce and fresh cream, asparagus with mushrooms and garlic, sausage stuffing, three salads, turkey, and warm rolls.

But as I pulled that second batch of mashed potatoes out of the oven, the gods of Gluttony got their revenge on me. Their unseen Force slid that bowl off my oven mitt to drop and ‘slap shoot’ across the kitchen. Mashed potatoes, in all their creamy, buttery glory, spewed everywhere ─ on my shoes, my ankles, the kitchen cupboards and the wooden floor. I had to slide my way over to the dining room table, where ten dinner guests were looking at me in dismay.

To hell with it. Everything else was hot and ready on the table. Those potatoes were going to stay where they were until we were all done eating.

So, summoning as much dignity as possible with mashed potatoes sticking to me, I sat at the table, unfolded my napkin and placed it on my lap. “You see? This is just what I mean. Thank God I made two platters.”

But that wasn't the end of it. After clearing away the dishes, I noticed we still had a whole half bowl of mashed potatoes left. Mind you, these were not counting the ones we'd cleaned off the kitchen floor.

Tim saw me looking at the leftover potatoes in confusion. With a sparkle in his eye, he explained, "You see, what it was, there were so few potatoes left after the second bowl dropped, that we were all afraid to take all we wanted. We thought there might not be 'enough' for everyone."

It's a good thing I understood by then he wasn't serious. That's why they were able to resuscitate me after I fainted.

Guest blogger Patricia V. Davis is the author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Italian American Museum Presents Two Award Winning Authors On November 6th in New York City.

NOVEMBER 6th, Friday Evening, 6 PM

DANIELA GIOSEFFI is a widely published author who has read from her books on campuses and at cultural centers, from Columbia and Princeton to Oxford or Venice, and Barcelona, as well as for National Public Radio as well as British Broadcasting. She will read from her latest book, a bilingual edition of her new and selected poems, titled "Blood Autumn, Autunno di Sangue." Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies from The Paris Review to The Nation, to Stories of the American Experience, Oxford University Press.

MICHAEL PALMA has published two poetry books, "The Egg Shape and Antibodies", and a full length collection, "A Fortune in Gold," as well as an Internet book. He has also published books by Sergio Corazzini, Armando Patti, Luigi Fontanella, and edited New Italian Poets with Dana Gioia, as well as a volume of translations from Luciano Erba with Alfredo de Palchi. His essay, “The Road to Rome, and Back Again" appeared in The Pushcart Prize XVII (2003). Michael Palma is, also the poetry editor for an Italian Americana magazine.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Italian-American Author, Patricia Volonakis Davis, to Appear at Italian-American Museum for Fundraiser In New York City On June 7th 2009.

An award-winning memoir by author Patricia Volonakis Davis delivers an honest, insightful and often hilarious look at cross-cultural marriage and the pursuit of ‘Happily Ever After’ in Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece.

A first generation Italian-American, Davis describes the challenges and benefits of growing up as a ‘Something-Hyphen-American’ in Long Island, N.Y. Uninterested in dating ‘Real Americans’ who had neither an accent nor a clue about ethnic foods and Old World superstitions, Davis met and married a Greek man. This memoir follows their courtship, marriage, move to Greece,—culminating in a lesson on female empowerment and self-actualization.

Ms. Davis will appear as a fundraiser for the Italian American Museum on Sunday, June 7, 2009, from 2- 4 p.m., where she will discuss some interesting historical facts about Italy’s occupation of Greece during WWII, and a more lighthearted reading on Italian food “versus” Greek food. Books sales will benefit the museum, and refreshments will be served.

(Harlot’s Sauce is also available for purchase through, and all fine bookshops.)

Patricia Volonakis Davis is editor-in-chief of Harlots’ Sauce Radio (, a popular online magazine and podcast. She is the author of If This Woman is Being Operated Recklessly, and other poems on women’s issues, and her essays, stories, and celebrity interviews have appeared in various newspapers and magazines nationally and internationally. Originally from N.Y., she currently resides in Northern California.