italian-Canadian reading list

It’s the beginning of May! I had a lot of lofty resolutions five months ago when 2012 started including a goal to read 50 books by December 31. I’ve made the pile of 50 from my own bookshelf alone as I have an affinity for buying books, constantly, and then never getting around to reading them. Some of the books on my shelf have an Italian-Canadian focus, and given my post a few weeks ago about the new books that came out about the internment of Italian-Canadians during WWII, it got me thinking about creating an Italian-Canadian reading list.

The Italian-Canadian books I already have are definitely on my list of “to read”, and I’ll write about them as I get through them, but I was also interested in finding new books and different perspectives. Turns out, Italian-Canadians do a lot of writing! Fiction and poetry are a big part of this collection, and not just Nino Ricci, which was great to see. While I can find records of journal articles and books about Italian-Canadian life, immigration and services all the way back to 1929, I’ve tried to select books that are a bit more modern (1995 and onward).

Here’s An Italian-Canadian Life’s suggested reading list:

History and Commentary
Eh, paesan!: being Italian in Toronto by Nicholas De Maria Harney

Not Paved With Gold: Italian-Canadian Immigrants in the 1970s by Vincenzo Pietropaolo (This is a photo book with amazing images capturing Italian immigrants in Toronto. You can see a sneak peek of it here)

The story of Villa Charities: A quarter century of community development by Italian Canadians in Greater Metropolitan Toronto, 1971-1996 by Virginia Williams Ariemma

Italian roots and Canadian blossoms: A history of Brantford’s Italian-Canadian community, 1880-1999 by Arcangelo Martino

Celebration: 33 Inspiring Stories of Canadian Women of Italian Origin by Italian Chamber of Commerce of Toronto

How the Italians Created Canada From Giovanni Caboto to the Cultural Renaissance by Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews

Literary Fiction
Bravo! A Selection of Prose and Poetry by Italian Canadian Writers, edited by Caroline Di Giovanni

Italian Canadian Voices 1946 – 2004 by Caroline Digiovanni (a collection of short stories, memoirs, longer prose and poetry)

The Anthology of Italian-Canadian Writing by Joseph Pivato

Pillars of Lace: The Anthology of Italian-Canadian Women Writers edited by Marisa Franceschi

The North American Italian Renaissance: Italian Writing in America and Canada  by Kenneth Scrambray

Academic reviews
Italian-Canadian Culture in the New Millenium released by the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies

Strange Peregrinations: Italian Canadian Literary Landscapes released by the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies


Did I miss anything integral? I’m always open to book suggestions, and this list doesn’t even touch on food-related books like The Silver Spoon which is always on my coffee table. Let me know your suggestions in the comments!

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