Thieves Never Steal in the Rain

Format:

Paperback / eBook

ISBN:

9781771830508

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Reading Group Guide for
Thieves Never Steal in the Rain



Thieves Never Steal in the Rain



Grappling with her daughter’s fatal accident, Joanna finds solace in the conviction that her daughter lives on in the body of another child. But how will this affect her already crumbling marriage, her career, and her relationship with her father? Nancy’s decision to lose a kidney in order to save her husband’s life jeopardizes her last chance for motherhood. All that Barbara possesses and identifies with including companionship with a ghost-vanishes overnight. Angie takes a drastic measure to lose weight in order to regain her confidence and self esteem. Rosemary, a renowned "agony aunt," falls apart when her husband leaves her, only to find comfort in the strangest of strangers.

Love and the supernatural drive these stories about the intertwining lives of five female cousins, who learn that loss-from misplacing keys to confronting death-is a constant force to be reckoned with.




Reviews


"…Written by one of the most talented contemporary female Italian-American authors…Even though this is not overtly a book about ethnic identity, it is magically all about it…Thieves Never Steal in the Rain steals our hearts and thoughts, leaving us with a craving, to be showered with more of her stories soon."
-Theodora Patrona in VIA Vol.27, No. 2, 2016

"Labozzetta is a master at capturing the internal and external forces that bring change into the lives of her characters, and expressing them through a variety of voices. Whether it’s self perceived obesity, as in "Pretty Face" or a mistaken reading of how good others have it, as in "A Perfect Father," the author explores the strengths of her characters so thoroughly that their weaknesses seem natural partners."
-Fred Gardaphe in Fra Noi
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"...every one of the glimpses into the lives of the Ficola cousins is a keeper and proves that Labozzetta, in her second collection of short fiction, is a master of this form of writing. Throughout the book, the author reveals how belief or disbelief in the supernatural, betrayal, abandonment, self-sacrifice, and, most of all, love can nudge our lives onto new and unexpected paths..."
-John E. Roper in US Review of Books
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"...the characters maintain a strong, distinctly female voice throughout. They're world-weary and wider for it, and readers will want to enter that world...a comprehensive, compelling family portrait-a whole that's greater than the sum of the parts..."
-Kirkus Reviews
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Sometimes It Snows in America

Formats:

Paperback / eBook

ISBN:

9781550716092

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Reading Group Guide for
Sometimes It Snows in America



Sometimes It Snows in America


Born into Somali royalty and Saudi Arabian wealth, Fatma is given away in infancy and, at age 12, forced into an arranged marriage with a young Peace Corps worker with ties to her uncle and guardian. Prejudice and cultural demands lead to a number of painful promises that will dictate the course of her life in both Africa and America.

Throughout her struggles on two continents, of one thing Fatma remains clear: there are individuals in every level of society who are greedy for power and eager to dominate, at any cost, those weaker than themselves. Everywhere there is a jungle, and in every jungle there is a king lion.

The novel, loosely based on a true story, is the cross-cultural journey of an African woman’s descent into an American hell, and finds its echo in the descent of her native Somalia into its own hell of violent desperation. It leaves the reader with the gifts of unsuspected connection and surprising hope.





Reviews


"While the basic premise of a displaced princess looking for somewhere she belongs may seem like standard fairytale fare, the content of this book is anything but. The events and drama are visceral and constant...At its heart this is a classic story of loss, redemption, and empowerment, and it leaves the reader feeling something profound by the final page."
-The US Review of Books
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"The story of a rebellious young girl from Somalia who comes to America is a searing and vividly intimate portrait that feels painfully real and yet never succumbs to sentimentality. You want to reach out and help her, but you know you cannot. She has to find her own path to redemption."
-Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action

"Fatma is a strong, determined character who remains with the reader long after the last page is turned."
-Leslea Newman, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

"What I do love is a writer who can transport me to another time and place via a compelling character and bring to life a set of circumstances I could never have imagined. This book does just that."
-Meg Bouvier in Goodreads
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"Praise for Sometimes It Snows in America. Labozzetta creates a world so real with characters so poignant to the extent of heartbreak, it's a wonder they have the strength to continue their struggles...A revelation of a shadow world in plain view from Main Street, yet reaching across continents, cultures, religions...a transporting experience."
-Grady Watts, Senior VP, State of the Art, Inc.

"...would be an interesting choice for courses in Gender & Women''s Studies, English or Africana Studies that focus on gender and immigration issues."
-Nancy Caronia, in VIA.

"The author of this review, who taught in the National Somali University established by the Italian government in the late eighties at the eve of the conflicts, finds it a worthwhile commitment, on Labozzetta's part, to give a face to the precarious life and uncertain destiny of the Somali population as a timely reminder of an unresolved disaster."
-Maria Anita Stefanelli, in Italian Americana.

"...absolutely fascinating...a very compelling, well-written, well-told story about current immigration in the United States...echoes the type of immigration going on in Italy right now."
-Fred Gardaphe, in i-Italy.




Formats:

Paperback / Audio

ISBN:

1550712594

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At the Copa



With humor and poignancy, these stories expose the social and sexual turmoil of men and women in"the old age of youth." In "The Knife Lady," a seemingly happily married suburbanite receives a jolt of sexual panic with the visit of a woman selling knives. The husband in "Future Games" encourages his wife to have an affair with another man to save their floundering marriage, and the resulting drama is parsed through the uncomprehending eyes of their young daughter. A restless dentist on a visit to a bizarre charlatan discovers an unlikely cure to what’s ailing him. And in "After Victory" a star-crossed World War II couple meets again after fifty years with stunning results. In "Ticket to Ride," a man evaluates his own collapsing, childless marriage in light of his parents’ sudden divorce announcement. These are a few of the stories whose primary fault zone is the seemingly stable, secretly unhappy middle-class marriage seen from various views.




Reviews


"...Even the most tragic stories float on a solid sense of humor that erupts now and then into a full-scale belly laugh. Labozzetta is an astute observer of life who knows that outside of life's silver linings are roaring thunderstorms, hurricanes and all sorts of unpredictable phenomena."
-Fred Gardaphe in Fra Noi

"...what it does do is gnaw at your soul, makes you stand back and do a personal assessment...Believe me, Marisa is on the mark."
-Jeffrey Griffiths in Front and Centre

"Labozzetta infuses her stories with a wry wit and a subtle, nuanced feel for the shifting emotional currents underlying seemingly placid lives."
-Kirkus

"Labozzetta… praised as a chronicler of Italian-American Life."
-The Valley Advocate

"In At the Copa, she (Labozzetta) is a keen observer of the whole range of American experience…I especially liked ‘Surprise’ in which  a wife plans an unusual surprise for her husband who has gone on a one-week camping trip. The final paragraph is a gem."
-Irmarie Jones in The Recorder

"The strength of Labozzetta’s collection lies in her capability of presenting a wide range of realistic characters and incidents. In her mirror held up to human nature each of them reads his/her own story." …(Labozzetta) employs a wide-angle lens, offering a picture of modern American that transcends the invisible boundaries of the ethnic niche…"
-Elisabetta Marino in Italian Americana




Format:

Paperback

ISBN:

1550710761

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Stay With Me, Lella



Johnny and Carla DiGiacomo are the hub of a big, extended, in many ways, conventional Italian American family. But a less than conventional choice made early in their marriage-to take in the orphaned daughter of distant relations-will test their notions of love and loyalty, as well as the sexual boundaries within which families exist. As Johnny says, "Ah, Lellie. Sometimes it’s confusing." Told with earthy humor, Stay With Me, Lella is about the arrangements and rearrangements Italian Americans coped with after World War II, as they began to make their way into the mainstream; about secrets; and about sacred ghetto family mores clashing with those of an explosive younger generation in the rapidly changing world of the late sixties.







Reviews


"I haven’t seen another writer capture with more accuracy the way sex cemented certain…marriages of the old school. A small classic."
-Anthony Giardina in VIA

"This is a finely-crafted novel with much to say about lust, love and blood that binds us."
-Matthew Firth in Front & Center MAGAZINE

"Blood, sex and betrayal…a short but passionate and compelling tale of family politics."
-Alessio Nuvolari in Tandem

"…well told and engaging…I came out of it feeling like the DiGiacomos could be my own crazy, complicated, and wonderful family."
-Rachel Barenblat in The Women’s Times

"Stay With Me, Lella is among one of the most forceful pieces of fiction written by an Italian American writer in a decade."
-Kenneth Scambray in MELUS


 
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