Rosina, the Midwife
Have you ever had to say goodbye? Travel to southern Italy with this author on her quest to come to know Rosina, the Calabrian midwife. Her family left in stages to start a new life in Edmonton, Alberta. Her families’ tickets for the SS Andrea Doria would arrive in brown envelopes stamped with Eskimo kayaks and blue and white whooping cranes, but her ticket would never come. In a small southern village known for its exits, the midwife would remain: arms cradled across her chest, eye narrowed under the too bright sunlight, black dress billowing from the winds coiling off the sea. Her world became smaller and smaller with every goodbye. She could only imagine Canada, a huge expanse as far-reaching as her loss. She would be the only one in the family to remain in the Old Country. Surrounding Rosina’s story are millions of other separation stories. Between 1870 and 1970, twenty-six million Italians left their homeland and travelled to places like Canada, Australia, and the United States, in search of work. Many of them never returned to Italy. Despite the separation of place and time and the uncertainty of memory, the author has created a poetic elsewhere story and a charming memoir that is at once a Canadian story and a Calabrian one.
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