Personal Effects

9780823262274: Hardback
Release Date: 15th October 2014

9780823285891: Paperback
Release Date: 3rd December 2019

9780823262298: PDF
Release Date: 15th October 2014

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 288

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Critical Studies in Italian America

Fordham University Press

Personal Effects

Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo

The two editors and eighteen scholars and creative nonfiction writers offer a lucid view of a writer who has produced one of the most provocative bodies of memoir writing in contemporary US literature, a scholar who has enriched our understanding of Virginia Woolf, and a teacher who has transformed countless lives.
Hardback / £37.00
Paperback / £15.99
Please note that payment will be taken immediately. The book will be delivered to you when it is in stock, as per the publication date.
PDF / £42.00

Celebrating one of the most important Italian American female authors of our time, Personal Effects offers a lucid view of Louise DeSalvo as a writer who has produced a vast and provocative body of memoir writing, a scholar who has enriched our understanding of Virginia Woolf, and a teacher who has transformed countless lives. More than an anthology, Personal Effects represents an author case study and an example for modern Italian American interdisciplinary scholarship.

Personal Effects examines DeSalvo’s memoirs as works that push the boundaries of the most controversial genre of the past few decades. In these works, the author fearlessly explores issues such as immigration, domesticity, war, adultery, illness, mental health, sexuality, the environment, and trauma through the lens of gender, ethnic, and working-class identity. Alongside her groundbreaking scholarship, DeSalvo’s memoirs attest to the power and influence of this feminist Italian American writer.

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: “Habit of Mind” 1
Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta

Louise DeSalvo’s “Even in Death, La Bella Figura”: A Meditation on Honor, Respect, and the Silences That Bind 37
Margaux Fragoso

The Poetics of Trauma: Intertextuality, Rhythm, and Concision in Vertigo and Writing as a Way of Healing 50
Peter Covino

Fixing and Fictioning: Memory and Catholicism in Vertigo 62
Jeana Delrosso

Portrait of the Mother as a Writer and Researcher 75
Julija Sukys

Louise DeSalvo: Essaying Memoir 86
Joshua Fausty

On Vulnerability and Risk: Learning to Write and Teach Memoir as a Student of Louise DeSalvo 105
Kym Ragusa

Fixing Things: What Louise DeSalvo Has Taught Me about Writing 111
Emily Bernard

Dark Whiteness and Literacy without Assimilation: DeSalvo’s Unlikely Narrative 117
Kimberly A. Costino

Mixing Bowl: On Crazy in the Kitchen, DeSalvo in the Classroom, and the Day I Got into Hunter 130
Lia Ottaviano

Furthering the Voyage: Reconsidering DeSalvo in Contemporary Woolf Studies 140
Benjamin D. Hagen

The Context of Louise DeSalvo’s Impact: Incest in Virginia Woolf’s Biography 155
Mark Hussey

“Thirty- seven Is the Unraveling Time” and Other Fictions of Fidelity in the Works of Louise DeSalvo 169
Jenn Brandt

Life Online: Skating and Breaking the Surface of the Self 179
Amy Jo Burns

The Fruits of Her Labor: Louise DeSalvo’s Memoirs of Food and Family 189
Mary Jo Bona and Jennifer-Ann DiGregorio Kightlinger

Mapping the Female Ethnic Self in the Family Battleground: Vertigo and the Greek American Novel 210
Theodora Patrona

DeSalvo’s Rialto: On Moving as a Livable Bridge 222
Ilaria Serra

The Knife and the Bread, the Brutal and the Sacred: Louise DeSalvo at the Family Table 233
John Gennari

Afterword. Crazy in the Study: Trying to Claim a Tradition in Louise DeSalvo’s Accented Writing 251
Anthony Julian Tamburri

List of Contributors 261

Index 265

Nancy Caronia (Edited By)
Nancy Caronia is a lecturer at University of Rhode Island. She teaches in the Honors Program, Gender & Women’s Studies, and in the departments of English and Writing and Rhetoric. She works on issues of transnationalism and globalization in contemporary American and Anglophone ethnic literature and film. Her scholarly essays, reviews, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture, New Delta Review, and Don’t Tell Mama! The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Her introduction to Casting Off will appear in Bordighera’s reprint of DeSalvo’s novel.
Edvige Giunta (Edited By)
Edvige Giunta is professor of English at New Jersey City University, where she teaches memoir and other literature and writing courses. She is the author of Writing with an Accent: Contemporary Italian American Women Authors and Dire l’indicibile. She is co- editor of The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture (with Louise DeSalvo); Italian American Writers on New Jersey (with Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan); Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (with Kathleen Zamboni McCormick); and Embroidered Stories: Interpreting Women’s Domestic Needlework from the Italian Diaspora (with Joseph Sciorra).

“A very important contribution in the field of Italian American studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, feminist studies, literary studies in general, and studies on the memoir in particular. Personal Effects explores Louise DeSalvo’s work as a memoir writer, teacher, and scholar, illustrating the contribution Italian American authors can give both to Italian culture and to American culture and literature.”

—Caterina Romeo
Sapienza Università di Roma

Wide-ranging, sophisticated,and stylish, Personal Effects is both a brilliant tribute to a powerful scholar-memoirist and a significant contribution to Italian-American studies and cultural studies more generally. It is a collection to savor!

—Sandra Mortola Gilbert
author of The Culinary Imagination

The essays in Personal Effects do more than bear witness to the extraordinary achievement of Louise DeSalvo; they extend and amplify her inquiry into the nature of self, the politics of identity, the consequences of trauma. No study of memoir, of biography, of the role of literary criticism in the understanding of our time, can be complete without this multifaceted colloquy. Like the work of DeSalvo herself, this is a book of heartfelt intelligence and brilliant passion.

—Richard Hoffman
author of Half the House, and Love & Fury

“Personal Effects is a significant contribution to DeSalvo scholarship. It is a stunning example of the power of blending literary and cultural criticism with creative nonfiction.”

—Roseanne Giannini Quinn
DeAnza College

With equal parts scholarship and creativity, Personal Effects penetrates the diversity and importance of DeSalvo's body of work. These thoughtful, disquieting, and insightful essays perfectly mirror the very essence of this vital American author.

—Domenica Ruta
author of With or Without You

The hard work, imagination, diligence, creativity, and exemplary self-discipline that underpin DeSalvo’s Woolf scholarship also shape her excavations and the resulting memoirs... This volume should be of interest to all whose own scholarly work on Virginia Woolf has been inspired and sustained by Louise DeSalvo.

Virginia Woolf Miscellany