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Distributed for CavanKerry Press

Italian Blood

With a Foreword by Ito Rom
A memoir dealing with the aftermath of abuse.

“I’ve heard that some volcanic eruptions are soft with oozing streams of lava dancing down the side of the volcano like a Las Vegas chorus line. My father’s eruptions were quick, like bricks being thrown through a window.”

Denise Tolan’s memoir-in-essay traces the legacy of violence in an Italian American family, showing how abuse reverberates both in the body and mind of a family. The book’s first part, “Blood is Not Water,” lays out how the origins of violence can infect the roots of a family tree. The second part, “Good Blood Doesn’t Lie,” shows what grows from those roots. Italian Blood is a raw, heartbreaking series of essays where everything is connected through literal and metaphorical blood. These essays offer a connection to anyone who suffered childhood shame, violence, or fear and provide reassurance that they are not alone.

144 pages | 6 x 9

Biography and Letters

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“Tolan spares no one in this taut, clear-eyed, immensely moving memoir, least of all her ‘Little Miss Perfect’ self. A daughter/mother dialogue, a case study of paternal rage and brutality, an indictment of patriarchy and a survivor’s chronicle all in one, Italian Blood offers page after page of hard-won insights, salted with black humor. Read it straight through and let the haunting begin.”

Kat Meads, author of "Dear DeeDee"

Table of Contents

Prima Parte: Il Sangue Non e Acqua / Part One: Blood is Not Water

Never Two Without the Three
Divisible by Thirteen
Malocchio (The Curse)
My Mother Tells Me

Seconda Parte: Buon Sangue Non Mente / Part Two: Good Blood Doesn’t Lie

Betrayed by Blood
Things That Go Boom
The Underside of Normal
Visiting Rena

Terza Parte: Echi del Mio Sangue / Part 3. Echoes of My Blood

Mercury Rising
A Very Short History of Abuse
Snake Light

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