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Cover for Night Bloom

Night Bloom

An Italian-American Life (Bluestreak #9)

Mary Cappello


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Of the mysterious Night Blooming Cereus, Mary Cappello writes: "The flower fell into our neighborhood like a shooting star." That neighborhood was a working-class suburb of Philadelphia riven by class distinction and haunted by contradiction. In tracing the marks that immigration and assimilation have left on her Italian-American family, Cappello also offers us her family's unsung art-their gardens, letters, and rosary beads-for the lessons they teach us about desire, creativity, and loss.

Praise For Night Bloom: An Italian-American Life (Bluestreak #9)

Cappello's writing shines and, like the flowers she cherishes, offers fleeting glimpses of beauty.--Sara Ivry, New York Times Book Review

"In this remarkable memoir, Mary Cappello explores the legacy of her family with not only grace of style but a kind of grace of being. . . . Fierce, honest, and deeply affecting."--Jay Parini, author of Benjamin's Crossing

"Cappello draws you deeply into her world and rewards you with rich description and sustained motifs. . . . She achieves an illumination that borders on epiphany."--Corene Lemaitre, Philadelphia City Paper

"[A] story about . . . love's possibilities and impossibilities, and the beauty and danger that lurk in the garden of our lives."--Fred L. Gardaphe, Fra Noi

"The literature of immigration has produced such notable works as the novels Giants in the Earth and Call It Sleep. . . . [Night Bloom] can take an honorable place among them."--Whitney Scott, Booklist

Beacon Press, 9780807072172, 280pp.

Publication Date: October 10, 1999

About the Author

Mary Cappello is associate professor of English at the University of Rhode Island. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.