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The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Grames, Juliet
Subject:  FICTION / Family Life
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: May 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 464
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.41in
Our Price:
$ 34.99
Availability:
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

From Calabria to Connecticut: a sweeping family saga about sisterhood, secrets, Italian immigration, the American dream, and one woman's tenacious fight against her own fate

For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella's childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents-moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella's own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity-beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life's harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.

"Witty and deeply felt." -Entertainment Weekly (New and Notable)

"The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna achieves what no sweeping history lesson about American immigrants could: It brings to life a woman that time and history would have ignored." -Washington Post

 

Review Quote*"[A] meaty family saga set in Calabria and Connecticut, crossing two centuries and five generations.... In conjuring this absorbing life, Grames has created a satisfying doorstop of a book, rich in detail, tightly written and delightfully easy to get lost in."
Review Quote*"'The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna' achieves what no sweeping history lesson about American immigrants could: It brings to life a woman that time and history would have ignored."
Review Quote*"Epic in scale and richly detailed.... Grames holds the reader under a spell from start to finish as she constructs a puzzle of identity formed against convention.... Grames's clear and compassionate voice lets the figures of her heritage move freely."
Review Quote*"If you're going through Elena Ferrante withdrawals, this is the book for you. A rich, sweeping tale of an Italian-American family and their long-buried secrets."
Review Quote*"Grames' witty and deeply felt family saga begins in a pre-WWII Italian village, where young Stella Fortuna learns the hard truths of life (and death) as she grows up with an abusive father and immigrates with her family to the U.S."
Review Quote*"As Stella strives to prove herself among the many messy and aggressive men in her life, Grames uses her heroine's story to reflect on motherhood, inherited trauma and survival."
Review Quote*"Remarkable.... A rich tale blending fiction with family history, one that celebrates the Calabrese culture in Italy as well as the immigrant experience of diverse cultures in America.... This compelling intergenerational tale is intelligently written."
Review Quote*"Immersive."
Review Quote*"This debut novel...follows one fascinating family as they make their way from Italy to America on the brink of the Second World War, only to find that some problems-often ones that have to do with who you are and who you're related to-aren't so easy to outrun."