Maria Laurino – The Italian Americans: A History
Late Night Conversation, hosted by Paul Martone
Buon San Giuseppe! Happy St. Joseph’s day! And welcome to a special Thursday edition of Late Night Conversation. In this episode Paul speaks with Maria Laurino, the author of The Italian Americans: A History (companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name), the memoir Old World Daughter, New World Mother, and the national bestseller Were You Always an Italian?. Maria teaches at NYU and serves as Assistant to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Listen to the full episode here:
It occurred to me that in order to really understand what it meant to be Italian American you not only had to think about what your identity was to the larger American culture, you had to think of what your identity was to Italian culture.
Get a copy of The Italian Americans: A History at Indiebound.org
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Maria Laurino grew up in northern New Jersey. She began her career as a journalist at the Village Voice where she covered local and state politics and social issues, such as New York’s exploding housing market and the resulting surge in its homeless population. In 1989, Laurino left the Village Voice to become the Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, serving until the end of his term in 1993. After leaving government, she returned to freelance journalism, writing for numerous publications, including The New York Times. Her first memoir, Were You Always an Italian?, (W.W. Norton), 2000) was a national bestseller and explored the issue of ethnic identity among Italian Americans. Her second memoir, Old World Daughter, New World Mother, (W.W. Norton, April 2009) examined the pull and tug the author experienced between Old World traditions that valued familial dependence and a New World feminism that prized female autonomy. In 2014, she published The Italian Americans: A History, chronicling the Italian American experience from 1860 to the present day (companion book to the PBS series of the same name)