As a little girl, I sat in my grandmother’s kitchen and listened to her chant the spells that cast out the headaches and the heartaches of the women of the neighborhood who sought her help. Years later, I discovered a different kind of my grandmother’s magic—a packet of letters written in the same limpid Italian that had mesmerized me in childhood. Those letters became the seeds from which my first novel, Dancing on Sunday Afternoons, emerged, nurtured by forays into the unrelenting sunshine of southern Italy and nourished by my own memories of growing up Italian in America.
Someone once asked me if I had learned the spells from my grandmother. While I didn’t become a healer in the sense that she was, I hope that I am casting my own magic with the stories that I tell.
A TASTE OF WHAT YOU’LL FIND HERE
For book clubs or reader groups
Discussion questions and opportunities to have me participate in your group
For cooks, both accomplished and aspiring
From struffoli to pickled eggplant, a tour through the kitchens in my books
For the children and grandchildren of immigrants
Stories of reconnection and memory