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About this title:
Boy Destined to America
by Adolph Caso

Item price:  $18.00
Book Description:
Boy Destined to America

ISBN 9780828326445 Paperback $18; ISBN 9780828326452 E-Book

Adolfo wrote this book in 1956, as a challenge to Professor Holmes, who, in his creative writing course, made the following recommendations to would-be authors: Write about things you know intimately--things within your reach, remembering that while grammar can be corrected, good stories generally are told in the third person point of view. Having come to America in 1947, not knowing much English, Adolfo took the challenge of his beloved Professor. Using an Olivetti 22 typewriter, and while working as an assistant manager in a Brigham ice cream store, Adolfo recounted how he survived World War II, how he and his mother fared during those trying years, and how it felt to see his American brother, Chris, fresh from the Battle of the Bulge. All the while, he and his mother had to live with his paralyzed grandfather in a family home adjacent to a highway connecting the cities of Foggia and Naples—the road that saw double invasions by Germans, and continuous battles by the Allies. He saw many battles: the Tuskegee Airmen fired at him, artillery barrages blasted overhead, and American infantry liberated his village. He saw Moroccan soldiers from Africa and black soldiers from America. Finally, he described how his mother prepared to leave Italy for America, to join his brother, Chris, his two sisters, Luisa and Gilda, and, for the first time, to meet his father, Raffaele, a man who had never been on good terms with his wife and children.

Against all odds, Adolfo completed the manuscript of more than 300 pages, and filed it away. In the summer of 2016, by chance he discovered it. His wife, Margaret, found the story remarkable, not necessarily for its odd grammar, but for individuals such as Prisca, Anna, Alberto, the grandfathers--Crescenzo and Gabriele, and so many other interesting characters.

As for the grammar, it reflects the writing of a boy learning English—to show that he was learning a new language. His malapropisms stand out: spaventuous from the Italian spaventoso (frightful), lachrimous from lacrimoso (tearfull). In some ways, Adolfo--who completed first grade only in Italy--now in America, after having skipped six years of elementary school, he was inventing his own language. That he earned degrees from Northeastern and Harvard and became a Colonel in the Army may speak to his native intelligence and willingness to work hard on a continuous basis. About eighty three years old, he is publishing the forgotten first book he had written in 1956--in 2016!

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