College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

StonecutterThe Stonecutter's Aria

by Carol Faenzi, Aperto 2005

Reviewed by Judi Morrel

Part history, part memoir, part fiction, and infused with local flavor, The Stonecutter's Aria portrays the saga of one Italian-American family, whose descendents settle in Indianapolis in 1924 as part of a flourishing Italian community centered around the Holy Rosary Catholic Church still billing itself today as "the Italian church in Indianapolis" near Fountain Square. The family patriarch Aristide Giovannoni, born in Carrara, Italy in 1882, was the great-grandfather of the author. Aristide, with his stone carving background (albeit in marble, not limestone) and passionate love of opera, comes to America alone seeking a better life for himself and his family. After plying his tradecraft in many locations around the U.S., Aristide finally manages to scrape up enough money for his mother, his wife and two Italian-born children to join him after World War I. The harrowing tale of that ocean journey in steerage and subsequent stop at Ellis Island, like many other stories in the book, was passed on to the author by her beloved grandmother, Olga, Aristide's daughter. While the book contains interesting stories of late-19th-century life in northern Italy and poignant stories of immigrant hopes and heartaches in this country, it is more than a collection of stories; it records the spiritual journey of the author, guided by the distant voice of her great-grandfather, as she seeks to record the past before it is gone forever.

- Judi Morrel is Executive Director of the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement at Butler University.