I dedicate this website to the memory to two extraordinary scholars, dear friends, and boon companions in this enterprise: Francesco Durante (who died in August 2019) and Robert Viscusi (who died in January 2020).
The best companion work to obtain to read lengthy excerpts from many of the writers is Francesco's 2005 work, Italoamericana: Storia e letteratura degli italiani negli Stati Uniti d’America. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori, which was translated and published in 2014 by the Fordham University Press as Italoamericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, 1880-1943, Ed. Francesco Durante, General Editor of the American Edition, Robert Viscusi; translations editor, Anthony J. Tamburri; bibliographic editor, yours truly.
Their deaths, the second following the first by less than a half-year, dealt me body blows from which I am still recovering. Sustaining me in this work is the belief that wherever they are in the great beyond, they are smiling down on my efforts, cheering me on, maybe even scolding me if and when I make a mistake.
It is to them that I owe the impetus and drive to collect these works in the first place, the sense of purpose and belief that, as William Faulkner put it so well, "The past is not dead. It's not even past."
Thank you, Francesco and Bob.
James J. Periconi