Fred Misurella reads from Lies to Live By.

Fred Misurella’s Lies to Live By (Bordighera, 2005) dissects contemporary America by focusing on Italian Americans from various walks of life, especially as they relate to their families. The seven short stories and novella in this collection include a priest seeking forgiveness for his actor brother, a widowed father sharing his diabetic daughter’s experience of giving birth out of wedlock, a reporter attending the funeral of a friend before traveling to a war zone, and a Vietnam vet recalling coming home for his mother’s funeral after committing a horrific act of war. Together, these stories reveal aspects of Italian-American experiences in the second half of the twentieth century.

“All of Misurella’s finely drawn characters are ‘crossing a bridge, preparing to pass through the doors of a new time zone.’ Their journey from old-world neighborhoods into more modern times makes for delightful reading.”

— Rita Ciresi