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"Tony Romano creates this story of an Italian family in the 1950s with a perceptive eye and a compassionate heart. The story moves with vitality and a flair for language. As with all good storytellers, his characters and the way they seek to resolve their dilemmas, remain with the reader long after the book is closed."
-- Harry Mark Petrakis, two-time National Book Award nominee, author of A Dream of Kings

"While most depictions of Italian American life are like Olive Garden commercials, Tony Romano sets us down in the real kitchen and the old Latin mass. His story of the Peccatori family is a profound exploration of what it means to be a hyphenated American. Family members are bound by obligation, reassured by ritual, but left alone to wrestle with what this all will become. In clear and sensual prose Tony Romano maps the topography of our yearning."
-- Daniel Ferri, National Public Radio commentator

"Tony Romano pays a rare attention to the human heart in When the World Was Young. As he takes you from the new world of Chicago to an old world at the foot of the Appenines and back again, you will follow his characters into backrooms and backseats—through their sins and kindnesses—like sneaky cousins, to find in the end that the journey was a personal one. For Romano's characters—like his readers—neither sin, nor love, neither confess nor forgive without question. He reminds us all that we are fed on more than the milk and bread of our mothers and fathers. Their sins, too, have grown us."
-- Billy Lombardo, author of Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories

"Benito’s death brings to life a whole neighborhood, and I found myself wondering, Is this fiction or did I grow up with these people? What was I doing when Benito died? I wasn’t turning pages anymore. I was standing alongside Santo on Halsted Street with bus fumes in my face, meat sauce on my breath, and the din of La Festa di Madonna flashing my brain with carnival lights. This book is as Chicago as Chicago gets."
-- Marc Smith, poetry slam creator and author of Crowdpleaser
 

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