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Date: Jan 25, 2010
History Professor Stanislao Pugliese’s Book, "Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone," Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone by Hofstra University Professor of History Stanislao Pugliese has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for the 2009 publishing year in the biography category.
The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) is a nonprofit organization consisting of more than 600 active book reviewers who are interested in honoring quality writing and communicating with one another about common concerns. The centerpiece of NBCC activities is the annual awards for the best book in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The 2009 NBCC Award winners will be announced March 11, 2010, at the New School University in New York City.
Dr. Pugliese is professor of modern European history at Hofstra and a Hofstra Cultural Center Fellow. He is also a graduate of Hofstra University. A specialist on the Italian antifascist resistance and Italian Jews, he has authored, edited or translated a dozen books on Italian and Italian-American history. He is a former research fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the University of Oxford.
Bitter Spring is a biography of Italian author Ignazio Silone (1900-1978), one of the major figures of 20th-century European literature. A founding member of the Italian Communist Party, Silone took up writing only after being expelled from the PCI and garnered immediate success with his first book, Fontamara, the most influential and widely translated work of antifascism in the 1930s. In World War II, the U.S. Army printed unauthorized versions of it, along with Silone’s Bread and Wine, and distributed them throughout Italy during the country’s Nazi occupation. During the cold war, he was an outspoken opponent of Soviet oppression and was twice considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Twenty years after his death, Silone was the object of controversy when reports arose indicating that he had been an informant for the Fascist police. Dr. Pugliese’s Bitter Spring, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is considered the most comprehensive work on Silone and the first full-length biography to be published in English.
The NBCC nomination comes just as Dr. Pugliese is about to begin the 2010 spring semester at Harvard University as a Visiting Scholar. At Hofstra Professor Pugliese has directed the Hofstra Cultural Center’s Italian-American Lecture Series and has organized several international conferences at Hofstra. His essay “The Books of the Roman Ghetto Under the Nazi Occupation” was presented at Hofstra’s 17th Annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture in 1999, and he was awarded Hofstra’s Peter E. Herman Literary Award. He is currently editing a volume of essays titled Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi’s Science and Humanism After the Fall, and collaborating on a film documentary on the Jews of Rome under the Nazi occupation.
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