Saturday, March 5, 2011

Album Di Famiglia

Last Tuesday, Italians in DC hosted author Anna Maltese Lawton, PhD at the Darlington House in Dupont Circle to speak about her novel, Album Di Famiglia.

This is the first novel for Dr. Lawton, professor of Visual Culture and Film Studies at Georgetown University. However, she has written extensively on the subjects that she teaches.

Album di Famiglia can be read as a historical novel. Dr. Lawton conducted rigorous research to ensure an accurate historical background upon which the fictional family narrative is woven. Two colleagues from Georgetown University joined the author in order to provide thoughtful analysis and discussion on Album di Famiglia. Much of the discussion revolved around the use of language and time. The text is written predominately in Italian, but it also employs Italian dialect, English, and Russian at times, which helps to bring to the foreground the immediacy of language, commented Lawton.

To help animate the romanza visuale, or visual novel, on Tuesday evening, Lawton read some excerpts in Italian, and two members of Italians in DC read an excerpt in dialect. The audience was also treated to a screening of the DVD that accompanies the book, in which
the imagery of the story is brought to life by Tonino Tosto, Director of the Roman theater company, Gruppo Teatre Essere. The theatrical adaptation of Albun Di Famiglia was performed live one evening in the Cortanze Castel. That is the castle which Lawton's family owned for more than half of a century, and on which the novel is based.

The program was well attended by both Italians and Americans on Tuesday. To read a chapter from the book, click here, or to buy Album Di Famiglia, click here.

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