Maria Laurino reads from Old World Daughter, New World Mother: An Education in Love and Freedom (W.W. Norton, 2009)

Few books have discussed feminism through the prism of Italian-American identity. In Old World Daughter, New World Mother, Maria Laurino seeks to reconcile her upbringing in an Italian-American home, where sacrifice was the ideal of motherhood, with her desire to start a family while pursuing a career. Laurino merges the personal and the analytical, combining lived experience, research, and reporting on contemporary work-family issues. With a passionate literary voice, she reveals how she learned from “Old World” and “New World” perspectives, negotiating a “sustainable mix of self and selflessness.”

“Ranging from the tug of old superstitions to the terrors of the glass ceiling, from the fear of freedom to the joys of feeding loved ones, Laurino explores the uncharted land where ethnicity meets gender, and takes us on an eye-opening tour of our own pasts, presents, and futures.”

—Ellen Feldman, author of Scottsboro