Growing Up Ethnic in America

Contemporary Fiction about Learning to Be American

By Maria Mazziotti Gillan; Jennifer Gillan
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140280630, 400pp.)

Publication Date: November 1999

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Description

The editors who brought us Unsettling America and Identity Lessons have compiled a short-story anthology that focuses on themes of racial and ethnic assimilation. With humor, passion, and grace, the contributors lay bare poignant attempts at conformity and the alienation sometimes experienced by ethnic Americans. But they also tell of the strength gained through the preservation of their communities, and the realization that it was often their difference from the norm that helped them to succeed. In pieces suggesting that American identity is far from settled, these writers illustrate the diversity that is the source of both the nation's great discord and infinite promise.




About the Author
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ. She is also a Professor and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-State University of New York. She has published eight books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons(Cross-Cultural Communications, 1988), Where I Come From(1995) and Things My Mother Told Me, and Italian Women in Black Dresses(Guernica,2002). She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of three anthologies published by Penguin/Putnam: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing up Ethnic in America. She also has co-edited with her daughter Jennifer Gillan and Edvige Giunta, Italian American Writers on New Jersey (Rutgers University Press). She is the editor of the award-winning Paterson Literary Review.

Gillan is an assistant professor of English at Bentley College in Massachusetts.
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