Landmark book enjoys a stellar second edition

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“Reconstructing Italians in Chicago — Thirty Authors in Search of Roots and Branches” was released in 2011 as “a sampler of the best writing on the subject of Italians in Chicago,” according to Dominic Candeloro, who spearheaded the book’s publication by Casa Italia.

The first edition has sold out, and a 10th anniversary edition has now been published by Amazon at a much lower price, both in print and on Kindle.

The new edition includes an introduction by Candeloro and Fred Gardaphe, an associate editor at Fra Noi and professor at Queens College. References have been updated, some of which direct readers to YouTube, where 10 years of IA Literati presentations can be viewed.

In addition to scholarly works, the book contains fiction and poetry from renowned authors like Tony Ardizzone, Robert Benedetti, and Tina DeRosa that delivers powerful emotional and personal truths about Chicago Italians.

Perhaps the most riveting entries are the autobiographical accounts that paint diverse portraits of what it was like to grow up Italian in different decades of the last century. Those authors include Fr. Gino Dalpiaz, Anthony Fornelli and Rose Ann Rabiola Miele.

The volume is packed with photos, illustrations and even a few recipes. In short, it has something for everyone interested in tapping into the shared experience of growing up in Chicago as an Italian American.

The print and Kindle versions of the book are available at for $15.99, or it can be ordered directly through Casa Italia by emailing

— Terry Quilico


About Terry Quilico

Firefighter, caseworker, labor organizer, sailor, psychiatric aide, aircraft load planner, FedEx manager. Nothing seemed to fit until Terry Quilico stepped up to the Joliet Herald copy desk as a know-it-all college intern wannabe journalist. It was there that he found his calling. Over the years, he’s written about social and political movements, Italian cars and the Torino football club. ]He began his long association with Fra Noi while working for the Comboni Missionaries. His proudest work was with the photographers, journalists and editors who created the magnificent book, “Evviva la Festa. A Spiritual Journey from Italy to Chicago.”

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