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Interviews

Glenn Carley on His “Urban Opera” Il Vagabondo

Glenn Carley on His “Urban Opera” Il Vagabondo

In his new book, Il Vagabondo: An Urban Opera (Guernica 2021), Glenn Carley introduces a new avant-garde genre – literature as installation art. Written in libretto form meant to be read as operatic recitative in a style called sing/speak, the book also brings a unique perspective to the Italian-Canadian immigrant experience. Anna van Valkenburg interviewed Glenn Carley for Accenti. ***…

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In Conversation with Genni Gunn, Author of Permanent Tourists

In Conversation with Genni Gunn, Author of Permanent Tourists

Genni Gunn is the author of twelve books, including three novels, three short fiction collections, two poetry collections, a collection of personal essays, as well as an opera libretto. She is also a musician, and toured Canada as a bass guitarist, pianist and vocalist before turning to writing full time. She lives in Vancouver. Genni Gunn discusses her latest collection…

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In Conversation with Jennifer Robson, Author of Our Darkest Night

In Conversation with Jennifer Robson, Author of Our Darkest Night

Jennifer Robson is the author of six novels set during and after the two world wars. Her latest novel is Our Darkest Night set in Italy during World War II. A former editor by profession and a self-described lifelong history nerd, Robson studied French literature and Modern History as an undergraduate at Western University, then attended University of Oxford, where she…

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In Conversation with Maria Giura, author of Celibate: A Memoir

In Conversation with Maria Giura, author of Celibate: A Memoir

In Celibate: A Memoir (Apprentice House Press, 2019) Maria Giura recounts the deep crisis and sense of displacement she experienced for many years, and her hard-won journey to inner peace. In the memoir, Giura struggles to understand and, at the same time, free herself from her attraction to and complex relationship with a Catholic priest, Father Infanzi. Becoming a nun…

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In Conversation with Author Marco Balzano

In Conversation with Author Marco Balzano

Award-winning Italian writer Marco Balzano’s most recent novel is Resto qui (2018), translated into English as I'm Staying Here by Jill Foulston, and now available in North America. His other works include Le parole sono importanti (2019), Il figlio del figlio (2016), L'ultimo arrivato (2014), and Pronti a tutte le partenze (2013). I'm Staying Here interweaves historical events with the…

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In Conversation with Nino Ricci

In Conversation with Nino Ricci

Nino Ricci was the featured guest of the third edition of the Librissimi Toronto Italian Book Festival, held online on May 9, 2020 with reduced programming in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is the transcript of the interview with Nino Ricci that was conducted via videoconferencing. You can also watch the interview here. *** When we were planning a…

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Paula Brancati on Her New Film, Acting, Family, and Coping with a Pandemic

Paula Brancati on Her New Film, Acting, Family, and Coping with a Pandemic

Paula Brancati stars in the film From the Vine (2019), directed by award-winning Canadian filmmaker Sean Cisterna. Brancati co-produced the film which also stars Emmy Award winner Joe Pantoliano, veteran Italian actor Marco Leonardi, and Canadian icon Wendy Crewson. Set in Toronto and Acerenza, Italy, From the Vine is based on the acclaimed novel Finding Marco by Kenneth Canio Cancellara. "At its core,"…

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Silvia Vecchini on Translation and Her Graphic Novel: The Red Zone

Silvia Vecchini on Translation and Her Graphic Novel: The Red Zone

In The Red Zone: An Earthquake Story (Amulet Books, 2019), graphic novelist Silvia Vecchini provides a look at how a natural disaster can strike and forever change a community. Sualzo illustrates the book, originally published in Italian as La Zona Rossa (Castoro 2017). In the book, Matteo, Giulia and Federico have ordinary lives; they hang out with friends, help around…

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Mary Melfi on her Memoir, In the Backyard: Relearning the Art of Aging, Dying and Making Love

Mary Melfi on her Memoir, In the Backyard: Relearning the Art of Aging, Dying and Making Love

Through her new book, In the Backyard: Relearning the Art of Aging, Dying and Making Love (Guernica 2018), Mary Melfi attempts to make sense of life, and answer the big questions that arise when we are faced with the nasty realities of poor health and unrealized aspirations. Recently, she sat down with Accenti to talk about her work and her…

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Caterina Edwards on the French Translation of Her Novel, The Sicilian Wife

Caterina Edwards on the French Translation of Her Novel, The Sicilian Wife

Caterina Edwards immigrated to Edmonton at age eight with her British father and Venetian mother. The Edmonton author was the first Canadian woman of Italian heritage to publish in western Canada. She is well known for writing narratives of the return throughout her literary career, including The Lion’s Mouth (1982), Finding Rosa (2008), The Sicilian Wife (2015), and her story…

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Mark Frutkin on His Latest Novel, The Rising Tide, and His Source of Inspiration

Mark Frutkin on His Latest Novel, The Rising Tide, and His Source of Inspiration

Mark Frutkin has published 16 books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Five of his books are set in Italy, including Fabrizio’s Return, which won both the Trillium Award and the Sunburst Award. He worked as a consultant on a public art project titled “Postcards from the Piazzas” in Ottawa’s Little Italy and has collaborated on a book of photos and text on…

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Michelle Alfano on Her Memoir, The Unfinished Dollhouse

Michelle Alfano on Her Memoir, The Unfinished Dollhouse

  In her memoir The Unfinished Dollhouse, Michelle Alfano recounts the journey she underwent in accepting and embracing her son’s transgender identity. From tell-tale signs in early childhood and the mental and physical afflictions in the early teen years, to the reactions of family and friends and the final steps in a social and medical transition from female to male, Alfano explores…

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Rediscovered Art: The Art And Passion of Guido Nincheri by Mélanie Grondin

Rediscovered Art: The Art And Passion of Guido Nincheri by Mélanie Grondin

Guido Nincheri is recognized as the most prolific Montreal artist of stained-glass windows and frescoes, but it was not his intention to settle in Montreal when he arrived with his bride in 1913. The newlyweds were originally headed to South America when the possibility of war in Europe changed their plans. The artist is most often cited for his fresco…

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Marisa De Francheschi on Waiting for Chrysanthemums

Waiting for Chrysanthemums combines a “procedural” with a family story. What inspired you to approach the story this way? Before I say anything, I must tell you that nothing I have written hasn’t already happened. That goes for Waiting for Chrysanthemums and my other writings. I think I write about power struggles, about good and evil, right and wrong. This novel presents the…

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Michaela Di Cesare on Her New Play Successions

Michaela Di Cesare on Her New Play Successions

Your new play Successions comes on the heels of your hit comedies 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived, and In Search of Mrs Pirandello. It is the story of two second-generation Italian-Canadian brothers: one, an uptight, upwardly-mobile lawyer running for office; the other, an easy-going fellow who would rather party than work. After the sudden death of their parents, the brothers must decide what to…

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Vittorio Rossi by the River

Montreal playwright Vittorio Rossi, at present gearing up for a revival of Paradise by the River, on the internment of Italian-Canadians during the Second World War, has a message for dramatists just starting out: write about what you know and make sure you have an interesting, intriguing, emotionally-charged tale to tell. That has been the secret to his success, and the lifelong resident of…

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Interview with Lamberto Tassinari

Interview with Lamberto Tassinari

Accenti: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what in that background qualifies you to write about Shakespeare? Tassinari: I don’t think you need any special qualifications to write about Shakespeare. It all depends upon what one has to say and how one says it. What counts are one’s arguments and the quality of the writing.…

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Interview with Basilio Catania

Basilio Catania was born in Sicily in 1926 and moved to Milan at the age of three. He received a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the Milan Polytechnical School in 1952. After completing his studies, he taught at both the Milan and Turin Polytechnical Schools and undertook a career in telecommunications research. He holds five US patents for inventions…

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Interview with Heritage Minister Sheila Copps

ACCENTI: Thank you for agreeing to appear in the inaugural issue of Accenti Magazine. Sheila Copps: No problem. I'm very excited about it. It's wonderful. ACCENTI: You delivered a very emotional address during the ceremony designating Madonna della Difesa Church a national historic site. Do you feel a special attachment to the Italian Canadian community? Sheila Copps: I was taught to speak French by…

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