Behind Closed Doors: Her Father's House and Other Stories of Sicily

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$19.95  $18.55
Feminist Press
Publish Date
5.72 X 7.25 X 0.84 inches | 0.66 pounds

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About the Author

Maria Messina (1887-1944) was born in Palermo, Sicily. She taught herself to read and write, eventually finding a mentor in the famed Italian realist Giovanni Verga, who encouraged her to begin writing seriously. Her works include novels, short stories, and children's tales. In 1910, she received the Medal of Gold for her first book of stories, Pettini-fini (Fine Combs).

Fred Gardaphe is the director of Italian American Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the president of MELUS (The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US).

Elise Magistro holds a doctorate in Italian from UCLA and is a lecturer in Italian at Scripps College in Claremont, California.


"[T]hese ten persuasive tales offer stark, finely drawn portraits of poor and middle-class Sicilian women in the early years of the twentieth century." --The New York Review of Books

"A window into another time and another culture... We understand the emotions of [the] characters, simultaneously victims and heroines... Messina's words will leave their mark. Their power makes them impossible to forget." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Virtually the only great Italian fiction about the massive Sicilian immigration to America written while it was happening... honed, polished, devastatingly direct--verismo at its unsentimental best." --Booklist