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Old Italian Values -- New Novel by Dr. DeFelice "In the tradition of Plato's "Symposium," Dante's "Il Convivio," and more recently, Frank Lentricchia's "Music of the Inferno," DeFelice's dinner conversations provide a sense of spiritual renewal through a remembrance of things past. We get to eavesdrop on the dinner conversation of six men all from a Philadelphia Little Italy and the former lover of one of their dead buddies (the only woman happens to run a classy house of ill repute). It all takes place on September 7, 2001, the night of La Luna Stregata (the witch's moon) in a New York restaurant appropriately named La Strega.
From the opening martini cocktails, through the peasant antipasto, the pasta, pietanza, dolce, espresso, and finally grappa, we move deeper into life, from casual observations about kids, families, divorce and their relationship to calcium and highways of today, to heated arguments about sex, politics, God, the liberal media, and many other controversial subjects. "Old Italian Neighborhood Values" is required reading for anyone who has grown up in a Little Italy; those who didn't will wish they had. In a time when people are leaving little Italys left and right, DeFelice's imagination has given us all a way back home.
Professor Fred Gardaphe, Director of Italian American Studies
Stony Brook University