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First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Anna Monardo
First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Anna Monardo


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For on-site events, no registration required (please ignore Quantity option).

Author of "After Italy: A Family Memoir of Arranged Marriage"

Date: Friday, August 2, 2024
Time: 12 pm CENTRAL TIME
Format: Zoom

Registration required


"This beautifully written story of three generations of marriage is a page-turner. Monardo's honest and reflective memoir reveals intergenerational patterns as intricate as Italian lace. This family story has something to teach us all." - Mary Pipher, A Life in Light and Reviving Ophelia 




After Italy Book CoverAfter Italy: A Family Memoir of Arranged Marriage is the story of two marriages undone by a dowry and the fallout from that rift on three generations of a Southern Italian family. Enlisting Calabrian folklore, epigenetics, and psychology, Anna Monardo charts her grandfathers’ immigration to a Pittsburgh steel town; her father’s wartime as a medical student in Naples; the family’s marriages—including her own—that were tainted by an Old World curse; and an unlikely path to international adoption.

"To tell my family’s story, I could dig in anywhere—1915, 1950, 2024. I could begin in Italy, Pittsburgh, New York, or Nebraska. Begin with my parents, my grandparents, or me, and from every point of entry, our story is the same: three generations unhappy in love."

Anna Monardo grew up in Pittsburgh, with strong ties to her Calabrian family, and her forthcoming memoir, After Italy: A Family Memoir of Arranged Marriage (Bordighera Press; May 14, 2024), is the story of her family’s immigration to the U.S. Excerpts were published in Creative Nonfiction, Hotel Amerika, Cimarron Review, More, Exquisite Pandemic, Fourth Genre, and Ovunque Siamo.

After Italy is the factual retelling of the family story at the heart of her first novel, The Courtyard of Dreams (Doubleday). Set largely in southern Italy, Courtyard was translated into German, Norwegian, and Danish; featured in the Selected Shorts reading series at Symphony Space in New York City; and nominated for a PEN/Hemingway Award and recommended for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. 

Excerpts from her second novel, Falling In Love with Natassia (Doubleday), first appeared in Prairie Schooner and were nominated for Pushcart Prizes; one excerpt was awarded Prairie Schooner’s Hugh J. Luke Award for Short Fiction. Her work has been anthologized in The Dream Book Anthology of Writing by Italian-American Women, Five Years of Fourth Genre, and A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers. Monardo’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in The Sun, Birmingham Poetry Review, HuffPost, Indiana Review, Poets & Writers, and other magazines and journals. 

A recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the Djerassi Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as three fellowships from the Nebraska Arts Council, she teaches in the Writer's Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 


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