Author Marianna Randazzo to Present GIVEN AWAY: A SICILIAN UPBRINGING at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 5/18

Author Marianna Randazzo to Present GIVEN AWAY: A SICILIAN UPBRINGING at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 5/18

On Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m., author Marianna Randazzo will present, "Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing," the story of life in Sicily before, during, and after World War II. Though fictional, it is based on actual events in her family.

In Sicily, 1935, a four-year-old child leaves her family with her great-aunt for vacation, and spends the next eight years absent from their lives. Living in a one-room house in one of the poorest regions of Sicily, she sleeps between a loving aunt and a deranged uncle, sharing her breakfast with goats and chickens, living in the shadow of fascism while World War II ravages the town. In wartime Europe she witnesses many disturbing things-from her unsanitary living conditions to dead paratroopers dangling from trees during the Allied invasion.

But Tina is a survivor. She is able to forgive those who took so much away from her, and her spirit triumphs over adversity. As she grows older, she struggles to keep the harsh realities of war and abandonment at a distance through her sense of humor, imagination and determination.

At age 15 fate intervenes again, and to gain passage to America she must accept the role of a war bride as arranged by her tyrannical, overbearing, bootlegging American aunt. Despite circumstances that could be seen as abusive and undeniably negligent, Tina respects her parent's decisions, and sacrifices herself for the greater good-even when it is not apparent to her.

Tina triumphs against all odds with an unconditional love for family that, despite its profound flaws, gives her the fortitude to carve out a successful life on her own terms. "Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing," demonstrates that even in the midst of the most horrendous conditions of war, perseverance may prevail.

Marianna Randazzo is an experienced educator, having taught students and teachers for over 30 years in New York City. She is a writer, author and public speaker. Her articles appear monthly in Staten Island Parent Magazine. She enjoys sharing her Italian-American experiences growing up in Brooklyn with her Sicilian extended family. Through school and community lectures it is her goal to educate young people about the hardships and difficulties faced by our ancestors to make the American dream a reality for present generations. She also wants to dispel negative stereotypes perpetuated in the media. The mother of three adult children, Marianna lives with her husband, Gaspare, on Staten Island.

Admission of $10, $5 for members includes a light reception. Books will be available for sale for the author to sign.

Image via Twitter.