Why Hold a Book Presentation in Italian in New York?

Letizia Airos Soria (November 15, 2019)
Two Italian language appointments for Emma D’Aquino’s book “Ancora un giro di chiave” edited by Baldini & Castoldi. One of the most renowned Italian news anchors puts together a moving and incredible telling of detainee Nino Marano’s story. Why did we decide to hold them in Italian?

Next week, Emma D’Aquino’s book will be presented in two different locations. 

At St. John’s University, which together with Your Italian Hub is launching a new series of Italian language conversations, and in a characteristically Manhattan-style Union Square Loft, another initiative, also organized by Your Italian Hub, this time with i-Italy and the language school SpeakItaly.

But the question remains: why would an English language communication agency targeting Americans decide to organize two Italian language initiatives?

The answer is simple, though with underlying complexities. 

Perhaps few people are aware that Italian surpassed French and became the fourth most studied language in the world. This is good news, but I’m not here to talk statistics, positive or negative. This is not the time and place.

Sure, the decision, denounced by Fred Gardaphe (Distinguished Professor, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and Queens College) in a recently published letter, which sees Brooklyn College cancel its Italian Language Major and Minor programs is extremely worrying, and should be fought, but let’s get to the point.

Why an Italian language book presentation? How is this useful to an Italian communication company in America?

I believe that, to promote Italy, we have to introduce people to our culture (in English of course) but without neglecting those who do know the language, who want to practice reading and speaking it.

There are many such people. The renowned American writer Jhumpa Lahiri is not the only one who loves our language so much she decided to write in Italian. Sure, her writing abilities are extraordinary but I believe there is a world of people who share her passion and whom we have to address.

That’s what we’re trying to do. Little by little. Because I believe that the foreigners who speak Italian are among the best Ambassadors of the Italian way of life. They love Italy, they live “all’italiana,” as the slogan created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs puts it, and they speak its beautiful language.

Will there be few Americans present? Since this is the first time, there is that risk, but I would like to put this initiative out there, to have it spread by word of mouth. 

It’s a project in which I deeply believe and I would like to thank Katia Passerini, Dean of the Collins College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University and her team for participating in this project. I would also like to thank Raffaella Galliani, the founder of SpeakItaly for supporting us with genuine enthusiasm.

So, we are waiting for you. Nino Marano’s story deserves to be known and reflected upon. “Behind bars my hands were tainted with blood,” Nino Marano declares. And that’s something to ponder.

His criminal career begins with the theft of peppers and eggplants. Prison was supposed to reeducate him but inside he kills someone and never gets out. He’s detained in several penitentiary institutions: from Catania to Pianosa, Termini Imerese, then again Pianosa and again Catania. 49 years spent behind bars.

And on this occasion, you will also discover the exquisite prose of the talented Emma D’Aquino, who is not only one of the most famous faces of Italian news, but also an incredible author.

S. John University 
Next Thursday, November 21 at 12:15pm 
8000 Utopia Pkwy
Queens, New York|
2nd floor of St. Augustine Hall.


Union Square Loft
Next Friday, November 22
Limited Spots - Reply by November 18UNION SQUARE LOFT
873 Broadway, NY 10003