Taylar's Reviews > Paper Fish

Paper Fish by Tina De Rosa
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's review
Feb 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

I absolutely loved this novella. It read like poetry, rich fragments with meaningful pauses. I could almost see my grandmother as Carmolina and my Southern Italian immigrant great grandparents in their own Chicago neighborhood such as the one DeRosa recreates. The story follows three generations of immigrants with insight and awareness particularly focused on female characters. This is beautifully written and ends rather soberly, as the neighborhood succumbs to the failed policy of Urban Renewal.

I read this as part of a book discussion on gastronomy; as in most Italian familes, food plays an enormous role in the lives of Grandmother Doria, mother Sarah, and the bambina, Carmolina. The senses awake when reading this, and while the characters' thoughts may be starkly worded, the reader is transported to a time long gone and struggling to stay alive in parts of present-day Italy.

It's unfortunate this book was never widely picked up. It's one of those I feel like I could read a dozen times and always pick out something different.

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