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Eat Now; Talk Later

In 52 bite-size stories, the book tells the story of Desolina and Antonio Vescovi, two immigrants from peasant villages where life hadn't changed for 200 years. But this isn't the usual immigrant-made-good tale.

When they came to the United States, my grandparents passed through a time tunnel. Gone were oxen and plows; the annual excitement of the slaughtered pig; polenta for breakfast, lunch, and supper; and a house heated both by wood and the animal stalls below. In modern America, Tony and Desolina found themselves puzzled by banking, supermarkets, college degrees, answering machines, and the nuclear family. They paid hospital bills in cash, thought telephones were for emergencies and tipped everyone 25 cents. Their perceptions of modern life were hilarious and bittersweet. These stories—collected in the years I knew them—are universal. You don't have to be Italian to relish them.

Profile Photo James Vescovi

About James Vescovi

James Vescovi’s stories about his eccentric grandparents, Eat Now; Talk Later, have appeared singly in The New York Times, Alimentum Journal: The Literature of Food, Creative Nonfiction, Newsday, Gazetta Italiana, and various anthologies. The collection was published in March 2014. He is also author of The USS Essex and the Birth of the American Navy (Adams; 1999; 13,000 copies sold). His fiction and essays been published in venues such as Midwestern Gothic, The New York Observer, the Georgetown Review, Calliope, and Natural Bridge.

All books by James Vescovi

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