What does it means to be an Italian American in USA? Well it’s not only about eating pizza and singing Sinatra’s songs during weddings. When I started reading the short story collection of Mike Fiorito, I understood what an Italian American guy told me once: “We’ve got it in the blood”.
There are behaviours, words, sounds, vibrations and, yes, feelings too, that an Italian American can feel and create while living in US. Mike is like a salmon. He is trying to find his birth place, not the one of his body, he knows it very well, but the one of his soul and dreams. He is looking for that “it” thing he’s got in the blood.
It’s a strange, and at the same time confortable, reading for a real Italian. There are stereotypes becoming real life behaviours, there is the eternal bond with the women of the family (as like mothers, sisters and daughters), there is the necessity to use words coming from Italy and from southern dialects. It’s all right, it’s what makes Italians (from every place in the world) a single people.
“Call Me Guido”, this is the name of Mike Fiorito’s last book, is an emotional guide to Little Italy as well as a diary. It makes me think about tales jewish people used to tell around the fire to keep the whole caravan united during the great escape from the Pharaoh.
“Call Me Guido” is about three generations of Italian-American father and son relationships. The stories focus on the relationships of the characters, but are connected through themes of Italian-American singers, like Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Roselli and Tony Bennett.
This book is calling a gathering around a table filled with delicious food, is a place where you can understand what is changing and what is still the same in today Italian American culture. At the same time is the effort of a great publisher – Michelle Reale from “Ovunque Siamo” – to create a living community of writers, readers and Italian culture lovers.
You’ll fall in love with each character of this book because they are all real and living on the paper. Don’t waste your time asking if doing or not, Guido needs to be called!
You can purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733994807