When I was a child, May was the month of bright yellow forsythia, fuzzy fat pussy willow, and the May altars my classmates and I concocted from shoe boxes disguised with tinfoil and adorned with doilies, flowers real and artificial, and glow-in-the-dark or dashboard-sized statues of the Virgin Mary. The time of First Holy Communions and, ultimately, the pageant to crown Mary's statue at the side altar of church, May was probably the month when I first learned LOVELY LADY DRESSED IN BLUE by Mary Dixon Thayer, a poem/prayer I memorized in grade school.
This May, I am thrilled to share the current issue of OVUNQUE SIAMO, the online journal of New Italian-American Writing edited by Michelle Messina Reale, in which my Madonne Nere inspired riff on Thayer's poem appears.
Here is a taste of my LOVELY LADY, DARK OF HUE:
Lovely Lady, dark of hue,
Teach me how to pray.
A god was born your little boy,
Tell me what to say
When you sat him, as he grew,
Gently on your knee
Did you sing to him the way
My mother sang to me?
Did he hold your hand at night?
Did you ever cry
Telling him stories of the world?
Ah! Then did he pry
The deepest secrets from your soul —
The name of every herb,
Of every sacred flower
You sowed to save the earth?
Lovely lady, darkly hewn
From an ancient tree....
Backstory's examination of honor throughout history includes an interview segment about my great-aunt Frances's story, told in Unto The Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family.
While much has been written about male honor -- as settled in duels, on the battlefield, etc. -- not much has been written about female honor. Typically, a female's honor is intrinsically bound up in the honor of her father, husband, brothers, and still is the impetus for honor killings in many corners of the world.
Listen in as I discuss the many facets of honor at play in the story of my great-aunt's murder with Joanne Freeman, Yale professor of history and American studies.
Backstory is a weekly podcast that uses current events in the United States to take a deep dive into the American past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, BackStory is made possible through the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and has ranked in the Top 10 of the iTunes Society and Culture list and as high as #10 among all iTunes podcasts.
The full podcast can be accessed at the Backstory website here.
Listen in on a lively conversation about the writing life with Karen Tintori, Jill Gregory and the delightful host of Authors on the Air, Pam Stack. You can access our 2016 Authors on the Air broadcast, archived here.
Four glamoruous women. Four perfect brides. Four deadly secrets. When Perfect Bride magazine editor Monique D'Arcy decides to showcase three celebrity brides--including herself--plus one lucky Cinderella bride picked from the audience of the Oprah Winfrey Show, none of them can fathom the danger Monique's plan will pose to their upcoming marriages--or to their lives.
For these four stunning and happy brides--all ready to say "I Do"--are all hiding secrets that could destroy their hopes and dreams for the future. As their fairy tale weddings draw near, will all four brides make it down the aisle to their happily ever afters?
Magazine editor Monique D'Arcy has built both her career and her relationship with her fiance on a lie--lovely fashion model Eve is being menaced by a relentless stalker-- gorgeous actress Ana Cates, engaged to a handsome U.S. Senator, is desperate to keep her shameful past from catching up to her--and sweet, hardworking manicurist, Teri, engaged to the nicest guy in the world, must outrun a heartbreaking truth that could destroy all her dreams of happiness.
Excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine, adapted by CBS for a TV Movie of the Week starring Connie Sellecca, Twiggy, Dina Merrill, Brett Cullen, Ron Howard, Paull Goldin and Shawnee Smith, and nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Something Borrowed, Something Blue was originally published in hardcover by Doubleday and in softcover by Bantam Books.
Foreign rights sold in hardcover and softcover to the U.K., and in softcover to Korea, Russia and France. Also published in large print edition.