Louisa Ermelino’s stories follow women living dangerously at home and abroad, whether in Italian-American neighborhoods or in the countries—India, Turkey, Afghanistan—where they seek escape. At home, they break ancient Italian taboos and fall victim to mobsters. Overseas, they smoke opium-laced hashish and sleep with strange men. Ermelino’s voice is boisterous and endearingly blunt.
“There is lyricism in the language of Ms. Ermelino’s splendid collection that lulls us, line after seductive line, from the mundane to the menacing. Malafemmena is the work of a bold and original writer.”
“Written with generosity, curiosity, and a great deal of sharp wit…. Will speak to anyone who’s found themselves gloriously stranded in a foreign land…or bemused by the strange rituals of their own tribe.”
“What Louisa Ermelino knows about the heart could fill a book and has. The unadorned authenticity of her prose is so powerful, it gave me whiplash. I read Malafemmena in one sitting and wanted more, more, more. The writer’s a genius, or an alchemist, or maybe both.”
—Patricia Volk, author of Stuffed and Shocked
“Louisa Ermelino is a gorgeous writer and master storyteller. Imagine a cross between Maugham and The Sopranos. She captures the madness, comedy, violence, and superstition of domestic life in NYC’s Little Italy, but also takes us all over the world—Jakarta, India, Turkey—where her characters stumble in and out of heartbreak and trouble. This book is irresistible. I loved it.”
Louisa Ermelino is the author of three previous novels: Joey Dee Gets Wise (Kensington, 2004), The Black Madonna (Simon & Schuster, reprint, 2013), and The Sisters Mallone (Simon & Schuster, reprint, 2013). She is Vice President and Reviews Director at Publishers Weekly in New York City.