In this episode of The Italian American Podcast, we talk with Gina Barreca, an Italian American author and humorist. She is the editor of two books that our audience may find interesting: DON’T TELL MAMA: THE PENGUIN BOOK OF ITALIAN AMERICAN WRITING and of A SIT-DOWN WITH THE SOPRANOS: Watching Italian American Culture on TVs Most Talked-About Series. In this episode, she tells us her Italian-American story, and she talks about how education was looked at much differently twenty years ago by Italian Americans.
In our Stories Segment, we talk with Susan Van Allen, author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go. Susan talks about how her love for Italy was born at a dining room table in Newark, New Jersey during Sunday dinners.
“Wherever I go, I am Italian. The way I talk, the way I eat, the way femininity is important to me. The way I love Italian food.” – Monica Bellucci
- “So many Italians comes from the same sort of patterns and share the same commonalities.” – Gina Barreca
- “The daughters of Italian American families have risen up through the ranks.” – Gina Barreca
- “Every Italian American knows how to tell a good story. Because if you don’t, people will either walk away or hurt you.” – Gina Barreca
- “We need to decide to get out there and support Italian American writers.” – Gina Barreca
- “Things change, but nothing changes.” – Gina Barreca
- “My love for Italy was born at a dining room table in Newark, New Jersey.” – Susan Van Allen referring to Sunday Dinners
- “I just thought it was Italian food, but it was really Southern Italian food.” – Susan Van Allen on her nonna’s cooking
About our guest…Gina Barreca…
Dr. Gina Barreca has appeared on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, NPR and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Her earlier books include the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor, It’s Not That I’m Bitter, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World, and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. Of the other six books she’s written or co-written, several have been translated into to other languages–including Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and German. Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Gina was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.”
Gina’s weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed internationally by the Tribune Co. and her work has appeared in most major publications, including The New York Times, The Independent of London, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. She’s Professor of English and Feminist Theory at the University of Connecticut and winner of UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching.
About our guest….Susan Van Allen.
The National Italian American Foundation
The New Neighborhood
Don’t Tell Mama!: The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing
A SIT-DOWN WITH THE SOPRANOS: Watching Italian American Culture on TVs Most Talked-About Series
They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor
It’s Not That I’m Bitter or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World
Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League.
“If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?”: Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times
IAP 08: Were You Always an Italian? Maria Laurino on History, Identity, and Stereotypes
IAP 15: Gay Talese on growing up Italian American in Mid-20th Century America. Part 1 of 2.
IAP 16: Gay Talese on showing up as a journalist. Part 2 of 2.
IAP 36: Robert Orsi on worship, Southern-Italian style – Superstition, Saints, and Feast Days
IAP 38: Fred Gardaphé on the importance of educating Italian Americans
Gina Barreca’s Website
Gina Barreca Facebook Account
Gina Barreca Twitter Account
Susan Van Allen’s Website