“I just stared uncomprehendingly at my mother, whose laughter began to ebb as she looked at me, probably wondering how she had produced this skinny, worried creature with lopsided bangs and a bad Tonette perm.”

Ma Speaks Up


Ma and the Mob


…”she stood at the stove frying eggplant, turning occasionally to place a finished one on a plate near my sister, Lindy, and me. We sat around the kitchen table like baby birds, mouths open, waiting for food.”

–Ma Speaks Up


Jesse Nutrimenti

On April 4, JESSE will be published in Italy by Nutrimenti, a prestigious publishing house based in Rome. All of this is through the generosity of Andre Dubus (House of Sand and Fog, Townie, Dirty Love) who brought my book to their attention. I am thrilled that my relatives — Zia Domenica and cousins in Sulmona can finally read my book. This September I have been invited to the Mantova Book Festival, to present the book. I am furiously studying Italian, but it is still “cattivo.” Luckily, the Italians are notoriously forgiving. During former trips they all assured me, “tu parl’ bene, signora!” even when I knew I was mangling their beautiful language. Avanti!