Tina De Rosa
"An extraordinary novel by the Zora Neale Hurston of Italian American Culture."
Publication Date: 05-01-2003
Preface by Tina De Rosa
Foreword by Sandra Mortola Gilbert
Afterword by Edvige Giunta
The characters of Paper Fish are not wiseguys or madonnas but real, struggling members of three generations of an Italian American family living on Chicago's West Side in the early 1950s, where everyone knows their neighbor's business. Narrated by young Carolina, the novel records both her coming of age and the family's stories from the "old" and "new" worlds.
"Paper Fish is a unique piece of work. Tina De Rosa renders experience from the inside, going deeper and deeper . . . as if the smells and sounds and taste of things had a life of their own." —Marilyn French, author of The Women's Room
"Out of childhood memories, family lore, and an intimate knowledge of Chicago's West Side Italian community, Paper Fish creates a world of radiant particularities—bent hands at domestic work; the feel of rough wool and old palms against a child's face; city noises, cooking smells, and kitchen sounds. This is a world that urban renewal and acculturation intended to sweep away; it is reclaimed in De Rosa's wonderfully focused, tactile prose." —Michael Anania, author of The Red Menace
"Gorgeous writing and a generosity of spirit—a gift of love." —Rona Jaffe, author of Class Reunion
"A novel of daring and intense imagery crafted out of the harsh rhythms of Italian immigrant life. De Rosa's lyricism is not a sweetly coated nostalgia. She holds this remembered world in a rough, respectful embrace." —Janet Zandy, author of Calling Home: Working-Class Women's Writings
"De Rosa paints memory pictures like haunting dreams of aching beauty. Her poetic prose evokes the ghosts of our own childhood, makes us face them, try to see, hear, smell, and touch them as sharply as she does." —Dorothy Bryant, author of Miss Giardino
"De Rosa's virtuoso performance makes Paper Fish comparable to Henry Roth's Call It Sleep. It is a major achievement by one of our foremost artists of Italian/American identity and modern culture." —Mary Jo Bona, editor of The Voices We Carry: Recent Italian/American Women Writers