Fiction. Edited with an introduction by Steven J. Belluscio. Set in turn-of-the-century Italian Harlem, the gripping immigrant epic THE FIRE IN THE FLESH puts into motion both a business plot and an occasionally intersecting love plot that ensnare its principal characters as they make their uneasy adjustments to the ways of urban America. In the love plot, which begins in Villetto, Italy, protagonist Agnese Filoppina bears the child of priest Gelsomino Merlino and, while bearing the brunt of the village's scorn, marries simpleton Michele Dantone and leaves with son Giovanni for Italian Harlem. Never truly loving her husband, Agnese saves her affection for her business rival Antonio Farinella and for Padre Gelsomino, who flees Villetto for America soon after Agnese leaves. Meanwhile, in the business plot, Agnese builds, from humble beginnings and through often dubious means, a real-estate empire that dazzles her fellow Italian immigrants and shames her do-nothing husband. While these characters endlessly pursue love and money—"the fire in the flesh" that motivates them—one character, the young painter Giovanni Dantone, seeks transcendence from his prosaic surroundings through art.
Garibaldi M Lapolla was an Italian-born, East Harlem-raised educator who wrote three pivotal novels depicting the Italian American experiences in the early 20th century (THE FIRE IN THE FLESH (1932), MISS ROLLINS IN LOVE (1932), and The Grand Gennaro (1935)) and edited the poetry anthology The World's Best Poems with Mark Van Doren.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA