Elizabeth Street: A Novel Based on True Events

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment


Elizabeth Street, a novel based on true events, tells the story of the Italian immigrant experience at the start of the 20th century.

Using her own family history as a template for her story, Laurie Fabiano introduces the main character, Giovanna Costa, as a strong and independent bride-to-be.

Laurie Fabiano, author of Elizabeth Street

Giovanna immigrates to America a few months after marriage to mourn the loss of her recent husband, Nunzio. Setting out to make a new life for his family back in Italy, Nunzio was killed in a dangerous construction accident leaving Giovanna to fend for herself. Desperately trying to move away from her suffering, Giovanna tries to see the beauty and promise that her husband saw in America.

In all of her anguish, Giovanna tries to make a new life in a brand new world. Trying to familiarize and save herself from fading into the fast-paced New York environment, Giovanna surrounds herself with familiar smells and sights of Little Italy in New York’s Lower East Side.

Elizabeth Street view in 1912, New York.

After exploring the streets of New York and recognizing her desperate need for companionship, Giovanna reluctantly settles into a second marriage with two children. Her marriage brings along a new and thriving business in which Giovanna proudly takes part of. Not soon after the business picks up, Giovanna and her husband are harassed by the undercover and notorious Black Hand. Giovanna resists the threats of the Mafia, desperately trying to preserve her newly constructed life.

Elizabeth Street paints a picture of an underprivileged Italian family and debunks any previously romanticized depictions of the mob.

By: Christina Paone

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