Having Italian ancestry in my family, books regarding New York City and Italian immigrants are quite popular in my reading genres. I enjoy both the historical fiction books and the nonfiction books.
I finished reading a novel called Elizabeth Street, by Laurie Fabiano. The story line takes place during the first decade of the 20th century. The book depicts based on the author’s own Italian immigrant family. The pages are filled with the essence of the hardships of daily living and survival during a harsh time period. Fortitude, desire, and the will to assimilate and conquer the living conditions, crime and social inequalities forced upon Italian immigrants seem to be the basis for the book, along with prejudice of the Italians. I am fascinated with what I have read, so far.
I have read other books regarding Italian immigration, and New York City immigrants, in general. Each book has given me new snippets to ponder.
How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis, is an extremely compelling book.
Vita: A Novel, by Melania G. Mazzucco, is another compelling read regarding the Italian immigrant experience.
Openwork: A Novel, by Adria Bernardi depicts three generations of Italian families, and their journey from Italy to New York City.
I also recommend The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani
I watched a show on PBS entitled The Italian Americans. It is a two-part four-hour series. It ended last night-February 24th. You can watch episodes online.