The Heart and the Island A critical Study of Sicilian American Literature
Makes the case for a distinctly Sicilian American literature.
In the Heart and the Island, Chiara Mazzucchelli explores the strong bond between Sicilian American writers and the island of Sicily. Self-contained yet connected to the mainland, geographically separated from yet politically united to the rest of Italy, Sicily occupies a unique position. Throughout the twentieth century, the sense of a distinct sicilianita- or Sicilianness-has manifested itself in a corpus of texts that, although subsumed under the broader context of Italian literature, have distinguished themselves as examples of an exquisitely Sicilian literary experience. Mazzucchelli argues that a parallel phenomenon-sicilianamericanata- has emerged in the United States. Focusing on the island's geography, history and culture, she examines how many American authors of Sicilian descent derive inspiration from their ethnic milieu and lay out recognizable set of Sicilian culture markets in their works, thereby producing a literature that is distinctly Sicilian American.