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1st Edition

Spatialities in Italian American Women’s Literature Beyond the Mean Streets

By Eva Pelayo Sañudo Copyright 2021
    ISBN 9781032002323
    170 Pages
    Published January 9, 2023 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9781032002248
    170 Pages
    Published July 6, 2021 by Routledge

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    Examining the family saga as an instrument of literary analysis of writing by Italian American women, this book argues that the genre represents a key strategy for Italian American female writers as a form which distinctly allows them to establish cultural, gender and literary traditions.

    Spaces are inherently marked by the ideology of the societies that create and practice them, and this volume engages with spaces of cultural and gendered identity, particularly those of the ‘mean streets’ in Italian American fiction, which provide a method of critically analyzing the configurations and representations of identity associated with the Italian American community. Key authors examined include Julia Savarese, Marion Benasutti, Tina De Rosa, Helen Barolini, Melania Mazzucco and Laurie Fabiano.

    This book is suitable for students and scholars in Literature, Italian Studies, Cultural Studies and Gender Studies.

    Chapter One: Icons of Ethnicity: Identity and Representation of Italian Americans

    Chapter Two: The Italian American Counter-Flâneuse: The Right to the City and Embodied Streets in Julia Savarese’s The Weak and the Strong (1952) and Marion Benasutti’s No Steady Job for Papa (1966)

    Chapter Three: Genealogies of Place: Spatial Belonging in Helen Barolini’s Umbertina (1979) and Tina De Rosa’s Paper Fish (1980)

    Chapter Four: Gendering the Urban Pioneers: Pictorial and Emotional Geographies in Melania Mazzucco’s Vita (2003) and Laurie Fabiano’s Elizabeth Street (2006)


    Eva Pelayo Sañudo has a PhD in Gender and Diversity from the University of Oviedo, Spain. Her fields of research are Italian American literature, gender, diaspora, and urban and postcolonial studies. She completed her PhD in July 2017, with a thesis entitled Genre, Gender and Space: Family Sagas and Streets in the Italian/American Experience, for which she received the 2017 Prize of the Italian American Studies Association: the ‘IASA Memorial Fellowship Distinction of Outstanding PhD Dissertation.’ She has conducted research at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, NY), the University of Calabria (Italy) and Stony Brook University (NY), and participated in international conferences in the USA, Italy and Slovakia.

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