Articles and reviews on Mike Fiorito and his books by the press...
This book provides an opportunity...
This fine work is somewhat shorter than I, as a reader would like. However, it hits many relevant points, that I, as a Sicilian-American can enjoy, relate to, and even revel in.
The reader is introduced to the author’s Sicilian-American family, right off the bat in the first chapter. Its title is: ‘My Mother is not Italian’, which is nicely explained in this chapter by the author, who informs us, his mother is not Italian….but is SICILIAN! We then are introduced to his homebound, 86-year-old SICILIAN/(Italian) mother, who suffered assorted broken vertebra and a broken hip due to several falls, in and around her home.
All the aforementioned injuries currently afflicting Mrs. Fiorito are due to old age, loss of balance, and an insistence in remaining in her home…ALONE! There are social services that she qualifies for, and that can even provide ‘live-in’ help at a reasonably reduced cost…however, she wants NO part of that. (Unfortunately, her husband and the father of her children, died 25 years before she endured her age-related difficulties, and she must rely on help in many aspects of her life, now. Her solution is to rely on her 4 adult children who rally around her, enabling her, at her request, to remain home, alone, in her co-op apartment.)
Luckily, one daughter and her own family, live in the same co-op apartment complex as her mother and she physically checks on her, often more than once a day. Sometimes, the four siblings simply gather to visit Mom, which allows them an opportunity to also address any medical and/or living arrangements and ongoing care issues for her.
This book provides an opportunity to not only view the family dynamic with Mom’s situation, but to explore the world of immigrants, especially in the Sicilian/Italian community, such as it exists in today’s world, at least in, and around the NYC area.
The remaining chapters in the book, address the sometimes, often complex stories and situations for these hyphenated Americans who transported their culture, their language and their expectations to not only this land but to their hyphenated children. Many of these children were born here but were raised only with the transposed traditions, and a culture that they may have never experienced firsthand. These explanations were usually shared in the adults' spoken dialect, and/or repeated in ‘pidgin English’ for the benefit of whichever generation they were trying to share it with.
The stories recounted as we absorb the book, share with readers the Sicilian immigrants, and their experience on these shores. The reason why this culture still exists and influences these immigrants, and their families until today, is that the culture and experiences still need to be passed down. It helps the reader to understand the erroneous perceptions of both other ethnic groups, and the readers own.
I highly recommend this book, not only for the quality of Mr. Fiorito’s writing, but also for the knowledge of the barriers, how and why they were developed, and how these barriers were dealt with by those affected and imposed on the Sicilian immigrant community.
Tommy (Amazon.com review)