January 2010 Book Remarks

January 2010 Book Remarks

This issue's top reads for your roots research.

How-to: Now’s the time to leave for your descendants what you wish your ancestors had left for you: your life story. In Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir (University of Georgia Press), Sue William Silverman guides you through the process with chapters on theme and plot, as well as advice on trusting your memory and cultivating the courage to tell your truth.

Fiction: Using her own family history as the impetus, Mary Pat Kelly has written an epic novel of one clan’s journey from Great Famine-era Ireland to Chicago. Spanning six generations, Galway Bay (Grand Central Publishing) exemplifies Irish immigrants’ lives in general, providing readers with a good dose of history in a compelling read.

Social History: In American Passage: The History of Ellis Island (Harper), author Vincent J. Cannato covers the island’s early history, from its days as the site of pirate hangings to its glorious era as the “golden door” of opportunity for thousands of immigrants. Cannato blends oral history with research to provide a comprehensive narrative history of the receiving station where so many of our ancestors entered America.

Memoir: How many people can boast having a real saint in their family tree? Justin Catanoso can. In My Cousin the Saint (Harper Perennial), he charts the parallel stories of his grandfather Carmelo and his sainted cousin, Padre Gaetano Catanoso of Calabria, Italy. Combining memoir, family history and spiritual journey, it’s also the story of family reunited across the ocean and years.
 
From the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine

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