Looking for Alibrandi: The Forgotten Archived Stories
‘Mum, I can’t believe it!’ my teenage daughter exclaims in delight from behind the novel Looking for Alibrandi,a staple for Euro-ethnic girls in the 1990s. ‘The Nonna character is exactly like Yiayia!’ Written by Italian-Australian writer Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alibrandi centres on 17-year-old Josie. The daughter of a second-generation Italian-Australian single mother, Josie struggles with the cultural expectations imposed on her by her grandmother, Nonna Katia.
We haven’t seen a book like Looking for Alibrandi in Australian literature since its publication in 1992, and what I mean by that is that we haven’t seen such a huge splash by a southern European female writer. My daughter commented that she doesn’t often come across fiction that paints a picture of her cultural world and experience.
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