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Author Archives: Patrizia Sorgiovanni

The engagement

She was at home in the village, knitting by the light of the oil lamp when her father came home from the fields. Her mother was at the opposite end of the kitchen nursing the youngest child. He took off his hat and coat. As he sat down he spoke to her, ‘There is a … Continue reading »

Categories: Strong Women, World War 2 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Buon Natale!

I have really enjoyed learning about the Christmas traditions of southern Italian village where my family comes from.  While I am sure they looked different at the time of my great grandmother, today it looks like this. Families celebrate on Christmas eve with a meal being the main event. Over the course of the evening … Continue reading »

Categories: Festivals and Customs, Strong Women | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Writing about the pre-Facebook generation

Not many people in my family know that I am doing this project. I safely post this statement to the internet, knowing that that most of them don’t speak English. Writing about my great-grandmother’s life, and that of her daughters, apparently isn’t flattering for the pre-Facebook generation. While we revel in sharing every thought with … Continue reading »

Categories: Strong Women | Tags: , | 1 Comment

The truth about marriage

Below is an excerpt from The Lamp and Little Lights. I have spent a lot of time talking to the women in the village about their husbands, as well as learning about my great grandfather. The following is what I imagine went through Marina’s head in the first year of marriage and how she came … Continue reading »

Categories: Strong Women | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Smell of Oregano and Other Wake-up Calls

My family history mostly takes place in a small village called Giffone, nestled in the lush mountains of Calabria in southern Italy. Untouched, wild nature provides the views, and on a clear day you can see Sicily in the distance. In August of this year, I spent three weeks in the village hoping to do … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Strong Women | Tags: , | 1 Comment