© 2019

Italian-Canadian Narratives of Return

Analysing Cultural Translation in Diasporic Writing

  • Explores translation, narrative and return as key theoretical concepts

  • Analyses a corpus of novels and memoir from three key Italian-Canadian authors

  • Treats translation as a point of both departure and return for writers in the Italian diaspora


About this book


This book examines the concept of translation as a return to origins and as restitution of lost narratives, and is based on the idea of diaspora as a term that depicts the longing to return home and the imaginary reconstructions and reconstitutions of home by migrants and translators. The author analyses a corpus made up of novels and a memoir by Italian-Canadian writers Mary Melfi, Nino Ricci and Frank Paci, examining the theme of return both within the writing itself and also in the discourse surrounding the translations of these works into Italian. These ‘reconstructions’ are analysed through the lens of translation, and more specifically through the notion of written code-switching, understood here as fictional tool which symbolizes the translational movements between different points of view. This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of translation and interpreting, migration studies, and Italian and diasporic writing. 

Michela Baldo is Honorary Fellow in Translation Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hull, UK.


fiction gender Italy literature migrant migration North America social science sociology translation writing diaspora studies Italian literature Canada narratology Mary Melfi Nino Ricci Frank Paci focalisation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Modern Languages and CulturesUniversity of HullHullUK

About the authors

Michela Baldo is Honorary Fellow in Translation Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hull, UK. 

Bibliographic information


“Michela Baldo maps out the theoretical questions posed by diaspora studies in a rich and compelling way. … This volume is also a useful overview of the themes and issues that are still unresolved within the field of ‘Italian-Canadian writing.’ … Surely, the merit of Michaela Baldo’s work is to demonstrate how the narratological inquiry – here operating meticulously – should go hand in hand with a broader cultural examination.” (Marco Gatto, ACCENTi,, January 11, 2020)

“Baldo’s latest volume is a welcome addition to the field of Italian-Canadian studies, a work that will certainly interest scholars in the area, as well as anyone interested in cultural translation or working with hyphenated literatures around the world.” (Tiziana Nannavecchia, Italian Canadiana, Vol. 33, 2019)