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Son Of Italy

Son Of Italy

By Pascal D'Angelo

In the original introduction to Pascal D'Angelo's Son of Italy, the renowned literary critic Carl Van Doren praised D'Angelo's autobiography as an impassioned story of his "enormous struggles against every disadvantage." In his narrative of his fruitless labor as a "pick and shovel" worker in America, D'Angelo, who immigrated from the Abruzzi region of Italy, describes the harsh, often inhumane working conditions that immigrants had to endure at the beginning of the twentieth century. However, interested in more than just material success in America, D'Angelo quit working as a laborer to become a poet. He began submitting his poetry to some of America's most prestigious literary and cultural journals until he finally succeeded. But in his quest for acceptance, D'Angelo unwittingly exposed the complexities of assimilation. Like the works of many other immigrant writers at the time, D'Angelo's autobiography is a criticism of some of the era's most important social themes. Kenneth Scambray's afterword is an analysis of the complexities of this multifaceted autobiographical voice, which has been read as a simplistic immigrant narrative of struggle and success. Guernica's edition of Son of Italy is its first English reprint since its original publication in 1924.


Guernica Editions (Picas Series)


364 pages |

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About the author

Pasquale (Pascal) D’Angelo (born in the town of Introdacqua, Italy and died in New York in 1931) came to the U.S. at the age of 16. He worked as a labourer under brutal conditions but was determined to remain. In 1919, he decided to become a poet. His poems were published in important literary journals such as The Bookman, Century, Current Opinion, Literary Digest, The Literary Review, The Nation, The New York Times, The New York Tribune, The Saturday Review of Literature, The Springfield Republican. In 1924, he published with Macmillan his autobiography Son of Italy: the autobiography of Pascal D’Angelo. To this day, it continues to be considered the first work in English by an Italian immigrant who arrived in the U.S. without education or knowledge of the language. He died in 1932 from complications from appendicitis and was interred in Brooklyn.