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The “Son of Italy” nearly 100 | A Zoom In-Person (“ZIP”) Talk

March 28 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm EDT

The Com.It.Es. Detroit, an Italian non-profit organization representing Italians living abroad under the Auspices of the Consulate of Italy in Detroit, is pleased to present Professor Ken Scambray to discuss the classic Italian autobiography by Pascal D’ Angelo: Son Of Italy published in 1924. This Zoom special talk will be hosted at the Italian American Cultural Center (IACC) in Clinton Township, MI. Prof. Scambray will live on a Zoom call from his San Clemente, California home.
Attendees in-person at the IACC or on the Zoom call will be able to ask questions.

Location:  Italian American Cultural Center – 43843 Romeo Plank Rd., Clinton Township, MI.
Free admission. Advance registration is required by March 25 for those wishing to ZOOM remotely. Register to remote Zoom by emailing the COMITES office: comitesdetroit1@gmail.com. For those attending in person, doors will open on Tuesday, March 28, @ 6:30 pm, with the Zoom presentation from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

Pascal D’Angelo was born in the small Abruzzi town of Introdacqua in the province of L’Aquila. At the age of 16 years old he immigrated with his father for opportunities in America. He worked as a manual laborer building roads and railways in New York and the east coast. Pascal describes the inhumane conditions he and his fellow immigrants had to endure. He eventually quit working as a peasant laborer and became a poet. His stirring story of struggles included self-teaching himself English and becoming a writer. Readers and reviewers labeled him the “pick & shovel poet”. His autobiography was written by himself in English and published 99 years ago in 1924. Sadly, he died at the young age of 38 years old on March 13, 1932 after an appendectomy.
Prof. Scambray will discuss Pascal D’Angelo’s autobiography, Son Of Italy. In his presentation, he will cover the American cultural and literary context surrounding D’Angelo’s autobiography and Italian immigration at the time. He will also place D’Angelo’s work within the context of Italian American literature before World War II, including Pietro Di Donato’s equally remarkable work, Christ in Concrete published in 1939.
One set of Prof. Scambray’s grandparents immigrated from Sicily; the other from Calabria. His surname was “Schrembi” before it was Americanized. Prof. Scambray wrote the afterword of the republished 2003 Guernica edition of Son Of Italy.
Kenneth Scambray received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside. His works include The North American Italian Renaissance: Italian Writing in America and Canada (2000), Surface Roots: Short Stories (2004), Queen Calafia’s Paradise: California and the Italian American Novel (2007), Italian Immigration in the American West: 1870-1940 (2021). For 35+ years he wrote for L’Italo-Americano, contributing hundreds of book and film reviews and travel essays, based on his extensive Italian travels. His many other essays on Italy, Italian immigration, and folk-art installations in the West have appeared in national and international journals and anthologies. His poetry & fiction have appeared in national literary journals. He is the winner of The Paterson Literary Review’s Editor’s Choice Prize for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, 2007. For 17 years Prof. Scambray took his students on a cultural tour of Rome & Florence during the January interterm. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of La Verne.