“A lively, lucid, and often extremely moving collection of essays.”—Sandra Gilbert, author of Wrongful Death: A Memoir
“Barolini’s essays moved me. Their commitment, their passion, their intelligence struck me very powerfully and made them among the most incisive essays on Italian-Americana, ethnicity, and diversity in literature that I have ever read.”—Fred Misurella, author of Understanding Milan Kundera: Public Events, Private Affairs and Short Time
Part memoir, part social commentary, and part literary criticism, Chiaroscuro is not only profoundly original but also of crucial importance in establishing the contours of an Italian-American tradition. Spanning a quarter century of work, the essays in Helen Barolini’s essays explore her personal search; literature as a formative influence; and the turning of the personal into the political. Included in Chiaroscuro is an updated re-introduction to Barolini’s American Book Award-winning collection, The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian-American Women.