Vita by Melania G. Mazzucco
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



In April 1903, the steamship Republic spills more than two thousand immigrants onto Ellis Island. Among them are Diamante, age twelve, and Vita, nine, sent by their poor families in southern Italy to make their way in America. Amid the chaos and splendor of New York, the misery and criminality of Little Italy, and the shady tenants of Vita's father's decrepit Prince Street boarding house, Diamante and Vita struggle to survive, to create a new life, and to become American. From journeys west in search of work to journeys back to Italy in search of their roots, to Vita's son's encounter with his mother's home town while serving as an army captain in World War II, Vita touches on every aspect of the heartbreaking and inspiring immigrant story.

The award-winning Italian author Melania G. Mazzucco weaves her own family history into a great American novel of the immigrant experience. A sweeping tale of discovery, love, and loss, Vita is a passionate blend of biography and autobiography, of fantasy and fiction.


About Melania G. Mazzucco

See more books from this Author
Melania G. Mazzucco was born in Rome in 1966. She earned a degree in Italian literature from La Sapienza University and a degree in cinema from the Experimental Center for Cinematography. In addition to her four novels, she has written award-winning works for the cinema, theater, and radio. Vita was awarded the 2003 Strega Prize, Italy's leading literary award.
Published September 15, 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 446 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vita

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The hardscrabble journey of two immigrants to Ellis Island from Naples in 1903 form the backbone of Italian novelist Mazzucco’s long-winded tale: the not-yet-12-year-old boy called Diamante and his nine-year-old cousin Vita, disgorged along with 2,000 other passengers from the Republic, and summo...

| Read Full Review of Vita: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Inspired storytelling drives this fictionalized narrative, which follows the Italian author's family to 1903 Ellis Island, where 12-year-old Diamante Mazzucco and his cousin Vita, age nine, evo

Jul 18 2005 | Read Full Review of Vita: A Novel

While Vita's life in her new country is often no less traumatic and devastating than Diamante's, she learns to trust in what she thinks is the great lesson of the American experience: have an unshakeable faith in a better tomorrow.This uniquely crafted work is a modern woman's attempt to rediscov...

Feb 27 2016 | Read Full Review of Vita: A Novel

History and Women.

“The image of that city rising from the water and aiming straight for the sky will stay with him for the rest of his life - so near and yet so unreachable.” This novel written by Melania Mazzucco became an international publishing sensation with the rights were sold in 11 countries, 300,000 copie...

Sep 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Vita: A Novel

Reader Rating for Vita

An aggregated and normalized score based on 15 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review