Acknowledged contemporary classic of Italian-American women's literature.
The lives of three generations of women in an Italian American family. The first women is Umbertina who goes from being a goatherder in the hills of Calabria to the owner of a thriving business in Upstate New York. Her granddaughter, Marguerite, who moves back to Italy and is caught between culturals. Marguerite's daughter, Tina, finds resolution as a strong, independent, Italian-American woman.
"An important novel for these times . . . through a dazzling interplay of American and Italian characters in both countries, Helen Barolini delineates the major concerns of all thinking American ethnics." —The Philadelphia Inquirer
"An ambitious saga which spans the history and probes some of the tensions of the Italian American . . . panoramic, descriptive, and solidly crafted." —Publishers Weekly
"Readable, perceptive, and rich in detail." —Library Journal
"Umbertina should be read. . . . Barolini redeems from silence, from neglect, those brave women upon whose shoulders [Italian Americans] should be proud to stand." —Newsletter of the Italian-American Institute
"I read Umbertina nonstop on the afternoon and all through the night of the day it came. . . . Large in scope, in depth, and in the gift of rapid narrative movement." —Cynthia Ozick, author of The Shawl
Bonnie Zimmerman was a founding member of the Women’s Studies College at SUNY Buffalo in 1970.
Paula Doress-Worters is a veteran activist.
Susan Cary Nicholas, Alice M. Price, and Rachel Rubin worked together as members of the Women's Law Project.