Maria Truglio is Associate Professor of Italian and Women's Studies at Pennsylvania State University, USA.
This is a timely, elegantly written, and very well researched study of the first fifty years of children's literature in united Italy, between this country's political unification (1861) and the beginning of fascism (1922). Truglio's book convincingly demonstrates the presence, throughout literary and cultural texts of this time period, of a pervasive analogy between the maturation of a child and the modernization of a nation. It is a must-read for all students and scholars seriously interested in the history of Italian and children's literature. --Cristina Mazzoni, University of Vermont, USA A fascinating study which underlines through its employment of a psychoanalytic interpretive lens the central role played by children's literature in the formation of Italian national identity. --Lindsay Myers, NUI Galway, Ireland There is a direct link between educating children and educating the nation. [This book] traces that link in post-unification Italian culture. The book offers the colourful portrait of a varied cast of characters, from Collodi's Pinocchio to Capuana's Scurpiddu, while also casting light on Italy's difficult modernity. --Loredana Polezzi, Cardiff University, UK The 2017 publication of Maria Truglio's Italian Children's Literature and National Identity: Childhood, Melancholy, Modernity by Routledge, in their prestigious Children's Literature and Culture Series, is thus a significant step forward not just because it is the first work in the series to discuss Italian children's literature outside of the context of Pinocchio, but also because it is the first monograph on this literature to have been published by a non-European publisher. After many years of Anglo-centrism, the international study of children's literature is finally becoming more inclusive. Italian Children's Literature and National Identity is aimed at social and cultural historians as much as it is at scholars of children's literature. The highly detailed readings of children's books that Truglio carries out in this work undoubtedly reflect and enhance the broader socio-historical observations on the cultivation of national identity around the Risorgimento made by Albert Russell Ascoli and Krystyna von Henneberg in their ground-breaking study, Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgomento (2001). Lindsay Myers, National University of Ireland Galway