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Author Joseph Luzzi Dicussses "My Two Italies" and Cultural Dichotomies at Hudson Valley Community College in March

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
Jim LaBate (518) 629-7226,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, March 6, 2015

Author Joseph Luzzi will read and discuss his memoir, “My Two Italies,” on Friday, March 27 at 1 p.m. in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre at Hudson Valley Community College, as part of the HVCC READS program. The talk is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

The director of Italian Studies at Bard College, Luzzi writes about his life between two cultures: the pure Italian culture of his parents and older siblings, who came to America in 1956, and the Italian-American culture he experienced in Westerly, Rhode Island, where he was born and raised. Luzzi’s book also explores the two different regions of his parents’ homeland, which the “New York Times Book Review” describes as “the prosperous north versus the indigent south.”

“HVCC READS is designed to encourage everyone on campus – students, faculty and staff – to read and discuss the work of one author. It is a rather unique program, undertaken and individualized by many communities locally,” says Jim LaBate, chairperson of the HVCC READS Committee. “Our goal also is to make readers aware of the real person behind the book, the one who wrote it.”

Hudson Valley has participated since 2006, and visiting authors have included Bill McKibben, William Kennedy, Jessica Abel, and Richard Selzer, among others.

Luzzi says that as a child he rejected both of his Italian cultures, wanting to simply fit in as an American. As he matured, however, he came to cherish his Italian roots/heritage and developed a love of Italy that led to his career path.

Luzzi’s essays and reviews have appeared in the “New York Times,” “Los Angeles Times,” “Bookforum,” “London Times Literary Supplement” and many others. His books include “Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy,” for which he received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern language Association, and “A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film.” He lectures extensively on art, film, literature and Italian culture.

For more information about this event or HVCC READS, contact Jim LaBate at (518) 629-7226 or The HVCC READS Web page can be viewed at

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.