This book was originally envisaged as a collection of anecdotes by Sicilian immigrants, and these indeed make up its most substantial part. With few exceptions, such as one on Sicilian dialect expressions, the chapters, written by various generations of immigrants, recount the personal experience of Sicilian traditions that survived the crossing to America. One of the stated aims of the book is to contribute to ensuring that “rich traditions would not be lost”; these traditions provide the focus for many of the authors.

Without overgeneralization, these accounts bear witness to an extraordinary similarity of experience. Sentiments such as “family was everything” are expressed by many of the contributors, sometimes using these exact words. Similarly, many stress the idea of community perceived as an enlarged family, summed up by one as, “We viewed our friends’ homes as extensions of our own. A drop-by always entailed an offer of some type of...

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