Celebrating Italian Heritage Month, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University, located at 24 W. 12th Street, will host three literary evenings on October 5, 6 and 7 which feature readings and conversations with authors whose books showcase Italian-American issues. For further information the public may call (212) 998-8739.

On Tuesday, October 5, 6 p.m., Josephine Gattuso Hendin, author of The Right Thing to Do, and Flavia Alaya, author of Under the Rose: a Confession, will discuss their books, both of which tell stories of self-discovery, offering a new look at the formation of the Italian-American women’s identity. Hendin’s novel is a coming-of-age story that explores the Italian immigrant scene and the multi-faceted father-daughter relationship at the heart of the Italian-American family. Alaya’s book is a memoir of her long-term love affair with a priest and the birth of their three children, told with rare elegiac style.

On Wednesday, October 6, 6 p.m., the spotlight will be on politics when the new book Lucky Corner: The Biography of Congressman Alfred E. Santangelo and the Rise of Italian Americans in Politics (by Betty L. Santangelo) will be featured. Panelists include: former NY State Senator Catherine Abate, U.S. Congressman Vito Fossella, Frank Guarini, president of the NIAF, and former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, with moderator Nicholas Pileggi. Lucky Corner is the story of Alfred Santangelo, who represented New York City’s Upper East Side from 1947 to 1963. Written by his wife, the book opens a window to a vanishing world of first- and second-generation Italian Americans and reveals a portrait of a man who became a national champion of Italian-American rights. This event is co-sponsored with the Center for Migration Studies.

On Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m., David A. J. Richards, Webb Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law, examines Italian-American identity as he discusses his new book Italian American: The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity. NYU Professors Josephine Gattuso Hendin and Pasquale Pasquino join the discussion. Italian American explores the acculturation process of Italian immigrants in terms of then-current patterns of racism and sheds important light on the history and contemporary importance of identity and mulicultural politics.

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