September 2018
Friday, September 21
6 p.m.
Remembering Street Corner Society: William Foote Whyte’s Sociology and Archival Material
Oscar Andersson (Malmoe University)
James Pasto (Boston University)
Nick Dello Russo (NorthEndWaterfront.com)

Oscar Andersson, Ph.D., of Malmoe University in Sweden will be joined by James Pasto (Boston University) and Nick Dello Russo (NorthEndWaterfront.com) to discuss Street Corner Society and William Foote Whyte’s sociology and archival material.

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CANCELED
Saturday, September 22
6 p.m.
Paola Bidinelli – bilingual book presentation
With poet Ani Gijka and flutist Elaine Huff
Muta Celeste

Italian author Paola Bidinelli presents her latest novel, Muta Celeste, with readings in Italian and in English. Reading in English by poet Ani Gijka, with musical accompaniment by flutist Elaine Huff.

Muta Celeste è una lunga pagina di diario. L’autrice, Costanza, protagonista delle vicende narrate, racconta la storia vera di una bambina abbandonata all’età di cinque anni dai suoi genitori e affidata alle cure degli zii adottivi. Celeste registra questa decisione come una punizione per lei e cresce alimentando dentro di sé un lacerante senso di colpa. Di lì a poco mostrerà i primi segni di carenza affettiva chiudendosi sempre più in se stessa fino a diventare autistica. La famiglia, di stampo borghese, vive questo disagio con forte senso di imbarazzo e Celeste viene internata in una clinica per malati di mente, dove ormai tredicenne le cure si rivelano inefficaci. Finisce per chiudersi nel mutismo assoluto. Costanza, che ha conosciuto Celeste quando entrambe avevano sei anni, ormai adulta e nel tentativo di ritrovarla e di recuperarla alla vita, dopo varie vicissitudini prima fra tutte il dissenso della famiglia, riesce a scoprire dove si trova e ad arrivare a lei. Una storia di silenzi, di nostalgie, di straordinaria amicizia.

 

Thursday, September 27
6 p.m.
My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie
by Todd Fisher

Noted filmmaker (HBO’s “Bright Lights”), producer, and new author TODD FISHER (brother of Carrie Fisher & son of Debbie Reynolds) releases his first autobiography, My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie & Debbie (Harper Collins/William Morrow).

With such legendary Hollywood history, Todd authors the first autobiographical account of his life in a fabled Hollywood family. “My Girls” serves as a love letter and thank you to the two most pivotal and extraordinary women he’s ever known: mom Debbie Reynolds and sister Carrie Fisher. The book is a candid, revealing and honest account of the joys, the struggles and the triumphs of life with Carrie and Debbie, culminating in their shocking and unexpected deaths within a couple days!

Todd says, “As the family archivist by default, I owe my girls a thorough, honest and unapologetic account of the life I’ve lived with them and without them, because neither of them would have tolerated anything less from me.”

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Friday, September 28
6 p.m.
Carmine Vittoria
Bitter Chicory to Sweet Espresso
Survival and Deliverance from World War II in the Naples, Italy, area, 1940-49

Events of WW II in the Naples area as witnessed and seen by a child and his family are recounted in detail. His observations have often contrasted with adult observations of the same events. Many of the discrepancies between the two descriptions are reconciled or explained by the author in terms of recent revelations of the events of post-war military trials, economic recovery, preservation of the church, and the absurdity of some war plans by decision makers.

There is an old Neapolitan proverb that states roughly the following: With little truth, sometimes it may be possible to hide the big lie. The little truth, in the Mediterranean campaign of the Allied Armies, was that the island of Sardinia was at the limit of air coverage from Sicily. The big lie was that the island was occupied by German troops. In truth, German troops left in early September, 1943. Had the Allies invaded the island of Sardinia it would have shortened the war, minimized American casualties, trapped the entire German Army South of Rome, negated the need for the Salerno, Anzio and Cassino catastrophes, and reduced the suffering and misery in Southern Italy.

The Marshall Plan is given much credit for the economic recovery of Europe after the War. The Plan alleviated the food shortage in Southern Italy, but it did little to improve the industrial base of the South. If anything, it exacerbated the inequity of industries between South and North Italy. It resulted in a great exodus of young talent from the South of Italy to other parts of Europe and the USA.

Order tickets here

Saturday, September 29
10:30 a.m.
I Piccoli Lettori
Join I AM Books for its Italian reading group for little ones! Children (0-4) and their parents will engage in multiple readings and games for a fun morning of Italian language and learning.
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Saturday, September 29
6 p.m.
Valerie Giglio in concert

Valerie Giglio is a Boston based vocalist, author, and Berklee College of Music student. Valerie has been singing professionally throughout the Boston area and beyond since the 90’s and has released 2 CD’s to date. She suffered a stroke in 2014 which left her left side completely paralyzed and claimed her singing voice and musical ability. After extensive rehabilitation, she has returned to performing and has authored the book “Singing in my Own Key: A Vocalist’s Triumph Over Stroke”.

Valerie’s journey has been featured in the media, and the audiobook version of her book was included in the first round ballot of the 2018 Grammy Awards in the Best Spoken Word Album Category.

Valerie will be performing an evening of songs from standards, to jazz, pop, and Italian music.

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October 2018
Saturday, October 6
6 p.m.
Joseph Sciorra
Built with Faith – Italian American Imagination and Catholic Material Culture in New York City

Over the course of 130 years, Italian American Catholics in New York City have developed a varied repertoire of devotional art and architecture to create community-based sacred spaces in their homes and neighborhoods. These spaces exist outside of but in relationship to the consecrated halls of local parishes and are sites of worship in conventionally secular locations. Such ethnic building traditions and urban ethnic landscapes have long been neglected by all but a few scholars. Joseph Sciorra’s Built with Faith offers a place-centric, ethnographic study of the religious material culture of New York City’s Italian American Catholics. Sciorra spent thirty-five years researching these community art forms and interviewing Italian immigrant and U.S.-born Catholics. By documenting the folklife of this group, Sciorra reveals how Italian Americans in the city use expressive culture and religious practices to transform everyday urban space into unique, communal sites of ethnically infused religiosity. The folk aesthetics practiced by individuals within their communities are integral to understanding how art is conceptualized, implemented, and esteemed outside of museum and gallery walls. Yard shrines, sidewalk altars, Nativity presepi, Christmas house displays, a stone-studded grotto, and neighborhood processions-often dismissed as kitsch or prized as folk art-all provide examples of the vibrant and varied ways contemporary Italian Americans use material culture, architecture, and public ceremonial display to shape the city’s religious and cultural landscapes. Written in an accessible style that will appeal to general readers and scholars alike, Sciorra’s unique study contributes to our understanding of how value and meaning are reproduced at the confluences of everyday life.
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Saturday, October 13
10:30 a.m.
I Piccoli Lettori
Join I AM Books for its Italian reading group for little ones! Children (0-4) and their parents will engage in multiple readings and games for a fun morning of Italian language and learning.
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Sunday, October 14
4 p.m.
Beth Daigle
Musing Mediterranean

A trip to the Mediterranean–who wouldn’t be thrilled? Beth Daigle should be doing back flips as she prepares to escape her humdrum suburban life, but travel anxiety gets the best of her. This is a trip of a lifetime, something to look forward to, yet Beth is dreading it.

The daughter of an Italian mother and Greek father, Beth has always dreamed of visiting Greece and Italy. Her Type A husband, Tony, revels in planning every detail of their two-week vacation. The plan expands to include not only Beth and Tony’s two tween daughters, but Beth’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.

As her family’s excitement mounts, so does Beth’s trepidation. She experiences serious anxiety about the flight itself, plus spending two solid weeks with her extended family.

Despite her worries, Beth manages the eight-hour plane ride to Rome, and the adventure begins.

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Saturday, October 27
10:30 a.m.
I Piccoli Lettori
Halloween themed!
Join I AM Books for its Italian reading group for little ones! Children (0-4) and their parents will engage in multiple readings and games for a fun morning of Italian language and learning.
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Saturday, October 27
6 p.m. (sign ups for open mic begin at 5:45 p.m.)
Italian American Writers Association
Literary reading and open mic

Featured authors:

Playwright Elizabeth Primamore’s Shady Women: Three Short Plays has recently been published by Upper Hand Press. A fellow at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, her most recent play The Professor and Michael Field was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Elizabeth lives in New York.

Boston native Dona Luongo Stein is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, whose fifth poetry collection Leaving Greece has just been published by Shanti Arts Press. Stein received local, national, and international awards for her poetry as well as national and international poetry residencies. Stein will read from Children of the Mafiosi (West End Press), Heavenly Bodies (Jacaranda Press), and a new manuscript, Origins of the Romantics.

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November 2018
Friday and Saturday, November 2-3

IDEA Boston
An Italian-inspired festival of books, authors and culture

IDEA Boston is an Italian-inspired cultural festival, celebrating literature, history, art and many other aspects of Italian and Italian-American culture.

The two-day event is organized by I AM Books, an independent bookstore in Boston’s North End neighborhood, in collaboration with several local organizations. IDEA Boston will be held at the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, located at 41 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02169.

The festival will be inaugurated Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, and continue through Saturday, Nov. 3. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, please click here.

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Saturday, November 10
6 p.m.
Gina Fava
Un Momento: A Taste of Italian-American Pastimes

Un Momento: A Taste of Italian-American Pastimes is a collection of short essays about author Gina Fava’s Italian-American life, a personal reflection on old-fashioned pastimes that have found their way into today. Whatever your own cultural heritage, you might find that you can relate to many of them. Some stories might invoke nostalgia, others may incite a desire to learn, share, and experience more about the Italian culture. Also included are never-before-published, traditional family recipes, expertly paired with the perfect wine. Take a moment to linger over stories of tradition, family, food, wine, art, travel, and other morsels rich with heritage.

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Friday, November 30
6 p.m.
Eric Dregni
You’re Sending Me Where? Dispatches from Summer Camp

Eric Dregni is the author of 18 books including Never Trust a Thin Cook, Vikings in the Attic, In Cod We Trust, Midwest Marvels, Follies of Science, and Weird Minnesota. He is a professor of English, journalism and Italian at Concordia University in St. Paul and dean of the Italian Concordia Language Village, Lago del Bosco, in the summer, which he wrote about in You’re Sending Me Where? He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, three kids, and an Australian shepherd named Bacco.

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PAST EVENTS

I Piccoli Lettori - Italian children's book reading
I Piccoli Lettori: Italian Children’s Book Reading Club
Carmela Favorito (Carmela's Story) - Jan. 9, 2016)
Carmela Favorito: “Carmela’s Story” – January 9, 2016
Valeria Petrone (Red Truck) - Jan. 3, 2016
Valeria Petrone: “Red Truck” – January 3, 2016
Mary Ann Esposito (Ciao Italia Family Classics) - Dec. 12, 2015
Mary Ann Esposito: “Ciao Italia Family Classics” – December 12, 2015
Tomie dePaola (Strega Nona) - Dec. 6, 2015
Tomie dePaola: “Strega Nona” – December 6, 2015