Twenty Years of Change: The Paradox of Italian-Canadian Writers
Pivato, Joseph J.
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The most significant development which has taken place among Italian-Canadian writers since 1986 is the great amount of writing and publication. This was not supposed to happen according to most opinions. I recall that for the 1986 conference Dino Minni wanted to look at the uncertain future. Some of us had questions, or doubts, about what these authors were going to write about. Were they going to continue to talk about, and complain about the immigrant experience? So Minni made the theme of the conference “Writers in Transition,” which was a euphemism for assimilation. And I gave a paper entitled, “Nothing Left to Say.” Had Italian-Canadian writers exhausted the themes of immigration, and ethnic identity? Many of my academic friends said yes they had. Several authors agreed and planned to move on to other topics and literary problems. So it was a paradox that some of the writers used the occasion of the 1986 conference in Vancouver to found an association of writers now called the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers. This essay is a brief review of the history of AICW from 1986 to 2006.