Calandra Italian American Institute
25 W. 43rd St., 17th fl.
New York, NY 10036
This poignant memoir takes readers into a world of immigration, gay subculture, cancer treatment, mental illness, gender dynamics, drug addiction, and domestic violence -- a world peopled by a vast array of Italian-American characters. In the street, Annie Lanzillotto bounced her Spaldeen ball on the stoop; inside, she tapped calls for help on the heat pipes when her father beat her mother. Later, she was forced to quit college by the discovery of a massive tumor inside her chest, a circumstance that initiated her truth-seeking journey for survival. The journey crescendos with a return home to the timeless wisdom of Lanzillotto's immigrant grandmother, Rosa Marsico Petruzzelli.