Praise for The Other Side
A memoir subtitled Growing Up Italian in America, The Other Side, with photographs by Susan Sichel, is a portrait of three generations of an immigrant family written from the perspective of one who bridged the two opposing cultures, worldly American and traditional Italian. This is a book of journeys: a family's journey from southern Italy to Hell's Kitchen and the New York suburbs and a young man's journey to a sense of identity.
…A colorful, bittersweet memoir, a sensitive rendering of immigrant culture as found in one man's family.
– Publishers Weekly
…Vincent Panella's sad, harsh, but loving remembrance of his Italian immigrant family….is a personal journey. Like so many other third and fourth generation immigrant Americans, Panella knows his heritage only vaguely through Americanized clichés. He comes to understand himself, finally, by digging up the family roots.
– The Trenton Times
Central to Panella's search for identity and self-knowledge is the haunting question of what cultural loss was accrued by these new Americans when they began to forsake their ties with "The Other Side," Italy, the life-world of Naples and Sicily, for the streets of Manhattan, "paved with guns and gold." For overshadowing Panella's past is not only the gunman, the gangster with the violin case, but a people whose values were geared to "making it," making it in the material American sense, making it with money alone.
- A. J. Montesi, St. Louis Globe-Democrat