the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts
Celebrating Italian Heritage month....
"Stories Nobody Told Me and a few I’ve heard a million times "
Norah Dooley tells Italian Folk tales at the Medford Public Library, October 5th, 2010
111 High Street Medford, MA 02155-3870
Traditional Italian folk tales serve up common story motifs with a distinctive flavor. Norah Dooley, a professional storyteller, picture book author and granddaughter of Italian immigrants tells these stories con brio.
Dooley, ( yes, her father was Irish-American) says
“ Despite a large extended Italian family in my background, I came to my cultural heritage through the back door of my enthusiastic but slapdash scholarship”. She read the works of Italo Calvino and then the 16th and 17th century folklorists, Bocaccio, Straparola and Basile. “These ‘dead white guys ‘ inspired me to tell my versions of their timeless tales”, says Dooley. As many European storytellers before her, she also found inspiration in the ancient Panchatantra texts from India and the old Buddhist Jataka tales. “The "recipes" used to dish up these tales are very old, but the combination of ingredients and seasonings come from Italy.”
The immigration story she will tell is part of a series of stories about her maternal aunt/godmother “ I heard bits and pieces of her story all the while I was growing up. But it wasn’t until I was an adult and my mother set me down to hear it out from beginning to end, that I began to understand who my Aunty Vera was.”
My godmother, our Aunty Vera on left, center, our nonna, Carrie Pastorino DiBrizzi ( yes, Carrie in Everybody Cooks Rice is named for her) , the redhead is Uncle Gigi's wife and my mom in the upper right corner, seated on right is Aunt Mamie.