© 2002

Writing with an Accent

Contemporary Italian American Women Authors


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 1-14
  3. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 15-34
  4. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 35-52
  5. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 53-70
  6. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 93-116
  7. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 117-137
  8. Edvige Giunta
    Pages 139-144
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 145-203

About this book


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.


America Italy women writing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.TeaneckUSA

About the authors

Edvige Giunta is Associate Professor of English at New Jersey City University. She and Louise DeSalvo are the coeditors for the upcoming The Milk of Almonds, an anthology on Italian American women writing about food.

Bibliographic information

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"I ve hungered for a book like this! Edi Giunta may have written specifically about Italian American women writers but I ve found it to be universal in many, many illuminating ways." - Nancy Savoca, filmmaker

"In language that is as lyrical as it is lucid, Edvige Giunta infuses new meaning into the voicing of accents, moving beyond shame and difference into power and presence for Italian American women writers and for us all." - Janet Zandy, Rochester Institute of Technology

"In an Italian-accented voice that is no less friendly than it is forthright, Edvige Giunta has much to talk about. . . . Correcting cultural misconceptions is central to her work." - The New York Times

Writing with an Accent makes a strong case that the Italian American community has much to thank its women artists for.

-Women's Review of Books