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L is for Lion - Annie Lanzillotto's New Memoir - a Bronx Butch Memoir

Annie Rachele Lanzillotto - Author
Excelsior Editions
SUNY series in Italian/American Culture
Price: $24.95
Hardcover - 300 pages
Release Date: February 2013
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4525-0

“If you want to know what it means to be a real human being, read Annie Lanzillotto’s memoir, L Is for Lion, the title delivered to her directly in a dream from her dead father. As its subtitle implies, the book is a lesbian coming-of-age story, but like Whitman before her, Annie is vast; she contains multitudes. In spite of the privation and scarcity that have always dogged her, she lives out of abundance. You will love this lion as I do, and she will make you roar.”— Jean Feraca, author of I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio

 

“Annie’s adventures as a Bronx-born tomboy are one-of-a-kind. The writing is exuberant and lyrical; the characterization masterful. Told with pathos, wit, and unflagging energy. If you’re looking for a memoir in high-definition surround sound, look no further.”— Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger,Tiger: A Memoir

 
“Annie Lanzillotto, the bard of Bronx Italian butch, is an American original, a performance artist and cultural anthropologist whose work is unique in theme, sound, affect, and effect. This memoir reveals her to be something more: an astonishing writer possessed of an utterly inimitable voice, a voice at once as richly soulful as her mother’s lasagna and as bracingly unsentimental as her father’s Marine masculinity. Lanzillotto’s stories bounce and stretch with the elasticity of her trusted Spaldeen, keeping us just a step ahead of the flying emotional shrapnel of an intensely lived life as we move from the mean streets of 1970s Bronx to the Ivy League, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering cancer ward, the banks of the Nile, and the Italian mezzogiorno. A landmark of ethnic expressivity, L Is for Lion indelibly portrays the iconic Italian American spaces of kitchen, stoop, sidewalk, and street; the body as a site of humor and tragedy; and, above all, the family war zone as an uncanny intermingle of poignancy and brutality.” — John Gennari, author of Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics

 

L Is for Lion is a book about a girl named ‘Daddy’ who goes to Brown but never leaves the Bronx. This long-awaited memoir by lesbian storyteller and performance artist, Annie Lanzillotto, traverses the distance from Arthur Avenue to Cairo to Sloan-Kettering and back again in an ethnography of the self and of an era. It’s a book made of dismantled padlocks, and of doors, opened and closed; of spoons clanking against radiators in an attempt to speak or scream; of Ivy League classism and World War II racism; of language ‘spoken and broken.’ Equal parts humor, guts, and grief, it’s a disarming story of all that a person—body, mind, and soul—can undergo without going under, in which ‘Bronxite’ is a new kind of rock.” — Mary Cappello, author of Awkward: A Detour and Called Back