Monardo, Anna 1956(?)-
Monardo, Anna 1956(?)-
Born c. 1956; children: a son (adopted). Education: St Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, B.A.; Columbia University, M.F.A.
Writer, editor, and educator. University of Nebraska-Omaha, Writer's Workshop, associate professor and chair, previously visiting assistant professor and then core faculty member in the M.F.A. Program. Previous work includes: Washington University M.F.A. Program, instructor; Writer's Voice of the West Side Y, New York, NY, instructor; New York University Continuing Education, New York, NY, instructor; Marymount Manhattan Courses for Adults, New York, NY, instructor; Hunter College, New York, NY, instructor; and Bennington College July Program, Bennington, VT, instructor. Also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at a resettlement agency for Soviet refugees. Worked as an editor at McCall's, Time, and Random House, all New York, NY.
Merit Award, 2000 and 2003, Nebraska Arts Council.
The Courtyard of Dreams, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.
Falling in Love with Natassia, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to anthologies, including The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women, edited and with an introduction by Helen Barolini, Schocken Books (New York, NY), 1985; A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers, University of Nebraska Press; and The Good Parts: The Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction, Berkley Books (New York, NY). Contributor of stories, essays, and poems to periodicals, including the Prairie Schooner, Sun, Indiana Review, Redbook, Other Voices, Clackamas Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and McCall's. The Courtyard of Dreams has been translated into German, Norwegian, and Dutch.
In her first novel, The Courtyard of Dreams, author Anna Monardo tells the story of Giulia, who strives to separate herself as much as possible from her Italian immigrant parents' history and culture. Even though she wants to be completely American, Giulia faces a crisis of identity when she falls in love with an Italian boy named Luca while spending a summer with relatives in Italy. Lorenzo Carcaterra, writing in People, noted that the author's "writing is simple yet elegant" and also called the novel "a well-crafted and entertaining tale." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that The Courtyard of Dreams is "an impressive debut, delicately evoking both a young girl's burgeoning sensuality and her maturing appreciation of the emotional sustenance family can provide."
Monardo's second novel, Falling in Love with Natassia, focuses on Natassia Stein, who ends up living with her grandparents after her unmarried parents prove unwilling to put her life before theirs and to raise her. The troubled teenager has an affair with an older man when she is fifteen, and falls into depression after the relationship dissolves. As the novel progresses, a psychiatrist begins to unravel the many failings of Natassia's family that have led to her unraveling. "Troubling, disarming and uncomfortably real," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor of Falling in Love with Natassia. Kristine Huntley, writing in Booklist, referred to the book as "a big, completely absorbing, complex novel peopled by fascinating characters."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of Falling in Love with Natassia, p. 24.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of Falling in Love with Natassia, p. 374.
Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Christine Perkins, review of Falling in Love with Natassia, p. 85.
New York Times Book Review, September 26, 1993, Zofia Smardz, review of The Courtyard of Dreams.
People, August 23, 1993, Lorenzo Carcaterra, review of The Courtyard of Dreams, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, June 14, 1993, review of The Courtyard of Dreams, p. 61; March 6, 2006, review of Falling in Love with Natassia, p. 42.
Anna Monardo Home Page,http://www.annamonardo.com (November 25, 2006).
Nebraska Center for Writers Web site,http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/ (November 25, 2006), brief profile of author.
University of Nebraska Omaha Web site,http://www.unomaha.edu/ (November 25, 2006), brief profile of author.