Louisa Ermelino's stories follow women living dangerously at home and abroad, whether in Italian-American neighborhoods or in the countries India, Turkey, Afghanistan where they seek escape. At home, they break ancient Italian taboos and fall victim to mobsters. Overseas, they smoke opium-laced hashish and sleep with strange men. Ermelino's voice is boisterous and endearingly blunt.
There is lyricism in the language of Ms. Ermelino’s splendid collection that lulls us, line after seductive line, from the mundane to the menacing. Malafemmena is the work of a bold and original writer.”
"Written with generosity, curiosity, and a great deal of sharp wit.... Will speak to anyone who's found themselves gloriously stranded in a foreign land...or bemused by the strange rituals of their own tribe."
What Louisa Ermelino knows about the heart could fill a book and has. The unadorned authenticity of her prose is so powerful, it gave me whiplash. I read Malafemmena in one sitting and wanted more, more, more. The writer's a genius, or an alchemist, or maybe both.”
Patricia Volk, author of Stuffed and Shocked
Louisa Ermelino is a gorgeous writer and master storyteller. Imagine a cross between Maugham and The Sopranos. She captures the madness, comedy, violence, and superstition of domestic life in NYC’s Little Italy, but also takes us all over the world Jakarta, India, Turkey where her characters stumble in and out of heartbreak and trouble. This book is irresistible. I loved it.”
Louisa Ermelino is the author of three previous novels: Joey Dee Gets Wise (Kensington, 2004), The Black Madonna (Simon & Schuster, reprint, 2013), and The Sisters Mallone (Simon & Schuster, reprint, 2013). She is Vice President and Reviews Director at Publishers Weekly in New York City.
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Louisa Ermelino is the author of three novels: Joey Dee Gets Wise, The Black Madonna, and The Sisters Mallone. She is currently the Reviews Director at Publishers Weekly in New York City.Review:
"A collection of arresting short stories that call to mind the work of Lucia Berlin in their sparse realism and humor, as well as their fine attention to the often-harsh details of women’s lives . Birth and death, love and friendship, drugs and violence, home and abroad: the stories’ themes are elemental and affecting, lingering in the mind like parables or myths sketching something vital, sad, and true."
Publishers Weekly, starred, boxed review
"Edgy short stories about women in trouble abroad and at home .The characters in Ermelino's 16 quick stories get around. They crack jokes, take opium, have ill-considered assignations, and are lucky to get out alive (some don't). There are a lot of great lines and a few truly timeless questions."
"Admit it, you’ve always fantasized about being tough and adventurous, about crossing swords with the Mafia or sleeping with strangers and smoking opium-laced hashish. Reviews Director at Publishers Weekly Ermelino takes you there with strong-willed female characters circling through New York’s Italian American neighborhoods and far-off India and Afghanistan."
"Many of Ermelino’s short tales hinge on recollections that evolve into deeper connections and realities . Spanning perception, continents, and time, Ermelino’s 16 tales stealthily explore her characters’ unwieldy predicaments and conflicting desires."
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