Dwight Marvin Library

HVCC READS is a community reading program designed to encourage students, faculty and staff to read and discuss the same book.

Joseph Luzzi

HVCC READS Lecture by Joseph Luzzi
Friday, March 27, 2015 at 1 p.m.
Maureen Stapleton Theatre
Free and open to the public with a reception to follow

Would You Like to Have Lunch with Author Joseph Luzzi?
As part of his visit to Hudson Valley, author Joseph Luzzi will share lunch from noon to 1 p.m. with a small group of 10 to 12 students, faculty and staff.

If you're interested in being part of the luncheon, here's what you have to do.
Write a short note explaining why you want to have lunch with this author. Perhaps you've already read his book, and want to ask some questions about his ideas. Maybe you want to be a professional writer yourself and want some advice from someone who has published a book about his memoir. Or, maybe you have another unique reason. In any event, clearly describe your motivation in an email to Jim LaBate at j.labate@hvcc.edu.
This opportunity is open to all students, faculty and staff.

The HVCC READS Committee is excited to announce that Joseph Luzzi will visit the campus on Friday, March 27 to talk about his book, titled "My Two Italies."

Luzzi's day will begin with visits to two classes, followed by lunch with a small group of students, faculty and employees. At 1 p.m., he will deliver a lecture to the entire community and the public in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre in the Siek Campus Center. A dessert reception and book signing in the theatre lobby will follow the talk.

Like many American-born children of immigrants, Luzzi found himself between two cultures while growing up: the pure Italian culture of his parents and older siblings who came to America in 1956 and the Italian-American culture he experienced as a native American, born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island. His memoir focuses on this dichotomy, as well as his heritage and his life now.

He currently works as the Director of Italian Studies at Bard College, and in an interview with "BookPage," he says that rather than describing himself as an "Italian-American," he is Italian and American. He explains, "I was too much of a child of my Calabrian parents to fit in with the kids in the cafeteria, yet too attuned to the English language and the American games and sports of my classmates to be as authentically 'Italian' as the Calabrian branch of my family."

In addition to his personal struggle, Luzzi discusses the two different regions of his parents' homeland in his work, regions that the "New York Times Book Review" describes as "the prosperous north versus the indigent south." Because Luzzi's family emigrated from southern Italy, and with many family members still living there, one would think that he might identify with that region. In reality, though, as a scholar of Italian arts, he is much more interested in the northern region, and he is perplexed by the fact that Italy doesn't appear to be unified.

The idea behind HVCC READS is twofold: first, bringing an author to campus for a discussion of his or her work will remind readers that living, breathing individuals are the creators of the books that form the foundation of a well-rounded education; and, second, when everyone reads the same book, the entire campus becomes a classroom for a discussion of ideas.

Previous HVCC READS Lectures

  • 2012 – Mark McGuire, "The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of the 20th Century"
  • 2011 - Amy Tan, "The Opposite of Fate"
  • 2011 - Joyce Carol Oates, "High Lonesome"
  • 2010 - Ryan Smithson, "Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI"
  • 2010 - Liz Funk, “Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Secret Crisis of Overachieving Girls”
  • 2009 – Jessica Abel, “La Perdida”
  • 2008 – Richard Selzer, “Confessions of a Knife”
  • 2007 – William Kennedy, “Ironweed”
  • 2006 – Bill McKibben, “Enough”

For more information about the program, contact Jim LaBate at (518) 629-7226 or at j.labate@hvcc.edu.

This program is sponsored by the Faculty Student Association and the Student Senate.