The acclaimed actress and author of Jesse: A Mother’s Story tells the story of her outspoken, frequently outrageous Italian immigrant mother. Marianne Leone’s Ma is in many senses a larger-than-life character, one who might be capable, even from the afterlife, of shattering expectations. Born on a farm in Italy, Linda finds her way to the United States under dark circumstances, having escaped a forced marriage to a much older man, and marries a good Italian boy. She never has full command of English, especially when questioned by authorities, and when she is suddenly widowed with three young children, she has few options. To her daughter’s horror and misery, she becomes the school lunch lady. Ma Speaks Up is a record of growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, with the wrong family, in the wrong religion. Though Marianne’s girlhood is flooded with shame, it’s equally packed with adventure, love, great cooking, and, above all, humor. The extremely premature birth of Marianne’s beloved son, Jesse, bonds mother and daughter in ways she couldn’t have imagined. The stories she tells will speak to anyone who has struggled with outsider status in any form and, of course, to mothers and their blemished, cherished girls.
Because I am a girl I am less likely to go to school Because I am a girl I am more likely to suffer from malnutrition Because I am a girl I am more likely to suffer violence in the home Because I am a girl I am more likely to marry and start a family before I reach my twenties. Eight authors have visited eight different countries and spoken to young women and girls about their lives, struggles and hopes. The result is an extraordinary collection of writings about prejudice, abuse, and neglect, but also about courage, resilience and changing attitudes. Proceeds from sales of this book will go to PLAN, one of the world's largest child-centered community development organisations.
"A unique, eye-opening approach…the author performs an outstanding round-up of the existing literature on the Habsburg Monarchy, from the old classics like Wickham Steed to the latest."--Geoffrey Wawro, A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire "This wonderful book explores oft-neglected history and is enlivened by a family story that exemplifies the lives of many immigrants from Central Europe. Read it for vivid insight into a complex time still relevant today."--John Palka, author of My Slovakia, My Family "A unique, engaging account of World War I as seen through the eyes of both the Austro-Hungarian emperor and one of his Slovakian peasants--a fascinating read combining geopolitics, class, ethnicity, and personal history."--Bernard Tamas, Valdosta State University. There was more to World War I than the Western Front. This history juxtaposes the experiences of a monarch and a peasant on the Eastern Front. Franz Josef I, emperor of Austria-Hungary, was the first European leader to declare war in 1914 and was the first to commence firing. Samuel Mozolak was a Slovak laborer who sailed to New York--and fathered twins, taken as babies (and U.S. citizens) to his home village--before being drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army and killed in combat. The author interprets the views of the war of Franz Josef and his contemporaries Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II. Mozolak's story depicts the life of a peasant in an army staffed by aristocrats, and also illustrates the pattern of East European immigration to America.