The Heart and the Island: A Critical Study of Sicilian American Literature
Chiara Mazzucchelli, University of Central Florida
In The Heart and the Island (SUNY Press, 2015), Chiara Mazzucchelli explores the bond between Sicilian American writers and the island of Sicily. Throughout the twentieth century, the sense of a distinct sicilianità—or Sicilianness—can be seen in texts that constitute an exquisitely Sicilian literary experience. Mazzucchelli argues that a parallel phenomenon—sicilianamericanità—has emerged in the United States. She examines ways in which Sicilian American authors derive inspiration from their ethnic milieu and lay out a recognizable set of Sicilian cultural markers in their works. The Heart and the Island is the first full-length study of Sicilian American literature, and it opens a space for new interdisciplinary discussions on what it means to be Italian on both sides of the ocean.