Shortlisted for 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards!
What happens when a headstrong Australian girl meets a charming older Italian man? Vivien was brought up in country Victoria with dreams of becoming a singer, but was trapped in a disastrous early marriage; Eliseo grew up in a small village in Abruzzo and suffered through the Second World War.
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Their heartbreaking love story takes you on a journey through cultural parallels and contrasts which, despite intense mutual love, lead to destructive anger, abuse and tragedy. Marrying Italian brings us the delights of Italian cooking and culture; passionate romance and blind rage; depression, drugs and despair; and a joyful family reconciliation in Italy.
‘Vivien is committed to Victoria’s Italian community and its heritage. She remains a bridge between Anglo-Celtic and Italian Australia, especially through this deeply felt and richly wrought book.’
Professor John Gatt-Rutter Honorary Associate of La Trobe University (Melbourne) and the Italian Australian Institute
Shortlists announced for 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 8/4/14
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION AWARD FOR A MULTICULTURAL NSW
Marrying Italian: When Love is Not Enough, Vivien Achia (Hybrid Publishers)
This warmly related memoir follows the difficult marriage between an Australian woman and an older Italian man as they struggle and ultimately fail to make a life together in Victoria in the 1970s and early 1980s. It takes the tensions, difficulties and joys that often occur in the relationships within families and examines them through the crucible of a cross-cultural marriage. Vivien Achia deals sensitively with pervasive issues in the immigration experience as well as in Australian society.
Her writing is full of compassion and generosity and driven by a genuine engagement across cultural divides. She captures multiculturalism and its complex interplay with individuals and their often traumatic personal histories evocatively. Struggles to adapt to Australian society, to marriage, to parenthood, to past experiences, are rendered intimately and with an honest portrayal of the consequences for all the members of this family. Despite the disappointments and the sometimes tragic circumstances this memoir relates, it ultimately serves as a celebration of the migrant experience and the way that it enriches and diversifies the connections within Australian society and between Australia and the rest of the world.