Delta, Paperback, 9780385319409, 287pp.
Publication Date: November 7, 1997
Skillfully capturing the daily quirks of life in a boisterous, working-class ethnic family--daily assaulted by family clamor, endless courses of food, embarrassment and fierce love--Blue Italian traces the pitfalls of the young life and three-year marriage of a wise-cracking and heart-winning heroine, Rosa Salvatore. With an ear for acid dialogue and an eye for everyday ironies, Ciresi unfolds Rosa Salvatore's tale: growing up on fantasies, guilt, and fagioli in the New Haven working-class Italian neighborhood of Pizza Beach; working her way through a local college by slinging hash, while agonizing over her thighs and aching for passion; landing a job and meeting Gary Fisher, a nice Jewish lawyer from Flushing with a great butt and angst of his own. Rosa and Gary fall in love, make love, get married, fight, make up, fight again--until Gary is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and Rosa realizes the power of her love--and the crushing force of regret.
Frank and warm, crackling with razor-sharp wit, Blue Italian is a love story about an ill-fated couple who almost missed realizing how much they loved each other. It establishes Rita Ciresi as a writer with a unique gift for language, character, and emotion--a novelist to read, and a novelist to watch.