52 True Tales of Family, Feasting, and the American Experience.
ABOUT THE BOOK
This collection of stories began with my father, Selvi. His career as a pharmaceutical executive took him around the world, and he returned home with amazing stories. He also told tales about growing up in New York with his immigrant parents. I am a writer, so naturally my tendency was to write them down. As I got to know my grandparents, I, too, began to record my own stories.
It would be impossible to tell the life story of my grandparents through a traditional biography. They were not famous and did nothing that we might deem extraordinary. Like most of us, they lived quiet, anonymous lives. Yet, how do we tell others about our great grandmother who lived in a sod hut on the plains of South Dakota, or our Uncle Buck, who took part in the arrest of a famous bank robber? Most often, it is through stories, told at family gatherings or to strangers in bars and to colleagues at work.
The most difficult task in writing this book was not recording the stories, but finding the best way to organize them. I decided to divide them into five thematic categories, which represent the essence of who Tony and Desolina Vescovi were and how they lived. In addition to recording my own family stories, my goal was to encourage readers to recall reminiscences of their grandparents or crazy aunts that they could share and pass down.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Vescovi’s essays about his eccentric grandparents have appeared in The New York Times, Alimentum Journal: The Literature of Food,Creative Nonfiction, Newsday,Gazetta Italiana, the anthology Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: New Essays by Italian-American Writers (Other Press), and other venues. His fiction and essays been published in Midwestern Gothic, The New York Observer, the Georgetown Review, Calliope, and Natural Bridge. He teaches at high school English and lives in New York with his wife and three children. On warm Saturday afternoons, you can find him in his volunteer garden trying desperately to make things grow.
James can be contacted at eatnow_talklater [at] yahoo.com.