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Revisionary Identities

Strategies of Empowerment in the Writing of Italian/American Women

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Mary Ann Vigilante Mannino

Italian Americans, the fifth-largest ethnic group in the United States, make up a large segment of the population. It is only recently that the daughters and granddaughters of Italian immigrants have begun to write fiction and poetry about their experiences as Italian/American women. Revisionary Identities focuses on the writings of these women and argues that their works reveal a new identity that is composed of both Italian and American elements but which is neither completely Italian nor totally American. For these writers the categories of race, class, gender, and religion blur causing conflicts, which they try to resolve by imagining an all-powerful immigrant grandmother with whom they form a bond.