Una faccia, una razza, usually translated as same face, same race, has long been used to extol the similarities between Greek and Italian cultures. In Return Narratives: Ethnic Space in Late-Twentieth-Century Greek American and Italian American Literature (The Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Series in Italian Studies), Theodora Patrona delves beneath cultural surfaces to render deeper understandings of the experiences of these two major world cultures and their diasporas.
This comparative study of six Italian-American and Greek-American literary works written in the three last decades of the 20th century and examined in pairs. Based on the common theme of the authors' return, either metaphorical or literal to the country of origin and its culture, the book explores the common motifs of mythology, ritual, and storytelling where the third generation writers resort to in their quest for self-definition.
The work of poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan is included in the volume, in particular, her poem "Public School No. 18: Paterson, New Jersey." You can read Maria's poem which was featured on an earlier post to this blog, and is also included in her collected poems, What We Pass On: 1980-2009 (Essential Poets Series)
Maria Mazziotti Gillan's most recent books are the poetry and photography collection, Paterson Light and Shadow and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter . Her collection of poems along with some of her paintings is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is MariaGillan.com.