Book project gives Italian-American women a voice

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Gloria Nardini and Kathy Catrambone

As part of an ongoing effort to “save our stories,” Italian Cultural Center librarian Dominic Candeloro convened a roundtable discussion about a possible second volume of “Italian Women in Chicago: Madonna mia! QUI debbo vivere?”

Published 10 years ago and spearheaded by Candeloro, the book features 40 accounts by scholars, journalists, freelance writers, researchers and first-person narrators, all of whom shed light on the history and experiences of Italian-American women in the Chicago area.

Participants in the March 26 discussion included the editors and some of the writers of the first book. They discussed future essay subjects and possible contributors.

A recurring topic was the importance of including younger generations of Italian Americans. “Their stories need to be told,” said Theresa Amato, an attorney and political activist who wrote in the first volume about the role her immigrant grandmother played in her becoming a lawyer.

Other participants talked about the need to showcase different kinds of writing, like poetry and short stories, to demonstrate the range of talent in the Italian-American community.

Candeloro is calling on women from across the spectrums of age, experience, profession and skill as he and others explore the possibility of a second book. “Everyone has a story,” he says. He encourages interested parties to contact him at


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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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