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GIOVANNA'S 86 CIRCLES AND OTHER STORIES by Paola Corso University of Wisconsin Press, 2005 Now Available in Paperback John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist Pushcart Press Editors Book Award Nomination Montserrat Review’s Best Short Stories of 2005 On The Young Adult Top 40 Fiction Titles of Pennsylvania School Librarian Association On's Recommended List of Short Stories for Rushed Readers In this mesmerizing fiction debut, Italian American women and girls spin their culture's lore to enliven a dying steel town. Even a wrecking ball is no match for the legend of Giovanna's green thumb in the title story. Quirky and profound, Paola Corso's magical leaps reveal the poetry of these women's lives. "Paola Corso knows the secret to surviving in every small fading Western Pa. town: a mix of quiet courage and a wild imagination. Generation to generation, the women of Giovanna's 86 Circles somehow find the power to redeem the everyday." —Stewart O'Nan, author of The Good Wife and Snow Angels "Corso mixes myth and reality, fable and grit to illustrate the beauty, the power, and the necessity of storytelling. She makes a major contribution to the growing body of female Italian-American literature." —Rita Ciresi, author of Sometimes I Dream in Italian and Mother Rocket "Corso's prose is inviting in its clarity and music as she creates a world that is at once familiar and strange. Her collection is at the same level of literary achievement as Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies." —David Huddle, author of La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl "Corso invites us all, but especially those from the working class, to remember and to dream." —Michelle Tokarczyk, author of Working-Class Women in the Academy "...memorable and entrancing...powerful in the moment thanks to the imagery's dream- like density." Publishers Weekly "Corso is a captivating storyteller in the tradition of Italian fairytale makers. Giovanna's 86 Circles heartily entertains." Rain Taxi "With Giovanna's 86 Circles, Corso joins a fine cast of American women authors of imaginative writing." Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism "Corso's strong ethnic narratives are reminiscent of those by Toni Morrison." Pittsburgh Magazine "Accessible, big-hearted fiction. Corso has a Catholic imagination. Like Springsteen, she tends toward the apotheosis of everyday people struggling with faith of some species." The City Paper "With her swift and gritty sentences, Corso conjures a world where houses were painted gray since the mill soot would turn them that color anyway. It was a humble if pinched society, down on its luck but at least rich in tradition. Corso honors that fact here, and then some." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "It is impossible not to be touched by the richness and generosity of spirit of Paola Corso's stories." The Law Society of New South Wales "...rewards second and third readings...the test of a good story. Brava!" Fra Noi "Giovanna's 86 Circles consistently surprises and delights." Books for Readers "Beautiful writing, strong female characters, and adolescent themes will attract good readers to this little gem of a book." —Pennsylvania School Library Association "Sharply imaginative...Corso's poetic talent shines through...excellent fiction for girls and women of all ages." —Association for Research on Mothering Journal Read an Excerpt.
Read Paola’s Ellis Island essay in The New York Times
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