June 16, 2022
The Adams Street Branch of the Boston Public Library will host a reading and conversation with former Dorchester resident Elisa M. Speranza, author of the new novel “The Italian Prisoner,” on Wed., June 29, from 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. She will be joined by local historian Dr. Anne Marie Reardon.
A work of historical fiction set in the Sicilian community of New Orleans’s French Quarter, Speranza’s novel illuminates a true story involving Italian prisoners of war on the US home front during World War II. The book was a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
“Operation Torch,” a critical WWII campaign, began in North Africa in November 1942 and ended with an Allied victory in May 1943. After the fighting ceased, the US brought 380,000 Germans and 51,000 Italian POWs to camps around the US, including Camp McKay in Dorchester and eventually Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor.
Dr. Reardon will share photos and stories of the Italian POWs held in Boston, and their interactions with the local Italian American community.
Speranza, a native New Englander who formerly lived in Dorchester, is a writer based in New Orleans and Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. This is her first novel.
For more information, visit elisamariesperanza.com.