It takes three Minissale women, three family generations, situated in three locations (Sicily, Philadelphia, and Colorado) , to overturn the symbolic curse from a certain broken water jug in Sicily. Opposing forces of fire and water constitute La Giara's family characters - Nunzio and Annunziata Minissale and daughters, Norma and Mimi - who are as fiery as their native volcanic Mount Etna, yet drowning in a family curse.
Nunzio thinks he wears the pantaloni in his family until he commits one final incident, prompting Annuniziata and grown Norma and Mimi to disappear, using aliases and taking a cross-country train out West. When Nunzio finally locates them in Colorado, he learns that his "bimbas" are more resourceful than he imagined, running their own dress shop. Hoping to reunite as a family, Nunzio purchases an extraordinary mansion. However, their fairy-tale palazzo, full of fountains, magnificent cooking, opera, and singing canaries, becomes a gilded cage that the Minissale women long to escape.
Three generations later, it is the grandchildren, laden with a longing for their disconnected past, that discover that la giara, their symbolic container of traditions - some broken, some lost, some retained - has endured the cracks and damage caused by the patriarch of their troubled family.
Hotel Fourchette, Milford, PA - November 2017
Penn State - Brandywine, PA - March 2018 (Women's Studies Event)
Lansdowne Women's Arts Fest - March 2018
Blue Marble Book Store, Chestnut Hill, PA. MAY 6th - 2pm
Lansdowne Library, Lansdowne PA. - May 30th - 7 pm
La Giara is about longing for our past and the culture from which we originate. Its timely and relevant themes address generations who are losing their connections to the culture of their immigrant ancestors.
-- Patricia King 's “La Giara,” is a powerful testimony of her family emigration from Sicily to Philadelphia. True and rich literature is always made with flesh and blood, and nothing could be more authentic and universal than the flesh and blood of our own translated into words that reach the depths of our conscience and soul. And that is what Patricia was able to accomplish with her first work – an inner voyage into the inexplicable spiritual transcendence connected to our family roots, the longing that we all have to be reunited with those that have already passed away from this life, and the legacy that we are all responsible to carry on to the next generation. “La Giara” is a must read not only for its universal theme but also for the exaltation of our family ties which often equates to the ineffable. But not in the case of “La Giara,” however.
-- Powerful use of images, complex family history and an almost supernatural component with the superstition/curse...could this be a motion picture? I see a movie residing in your book!
-- In La Giara, The Water Jug, Patricia King Haddad tells the story of her grandparents with love and wit. Told through the eyes of a young Patricia, with all the wonder and awe of encountering her larger than life family, she strives to come to terms with and understand their remarkable story. Although her grandfather, controlling and narcissistic, was difficult for his strong-willed wife and daughters, to his grandchildren he was special. and this view permeates the book. A wonderful story of immigration and family, Sicily and early 20th century America, this book, with its colorful cast of characters, will resonate with all.