Joanna Leone ’89 was at Sacred Heart University to share excerpts from her book, advice and stories with a capacity crowd of students, faculty, staff and alumni in University Commons. Leone is the author of Slices of Life Italian-American Stories, which is available from several online sites.
The youngest of six children, Leone said she learned much about her heritage from sitting at the dining room table and then later traveling to Italy to meet her extended family. She told those gathered that “slices of life” or memories can come from almost anything—roses, rosary beads, photos, the sound of an old-fashioned sewing machine, etc. Her book encompasses everything from love stories and travel tales to memories of quiet Sunday afternoons.
Interspersing her remarks with Italian words and phrases, she spoke of her time at Sacred Heart as well as her memories of special times spent with family and friends. “Years ago, I actually sat in the chairs you are in now as I learned about the heritage and culture that has guided me through my life,” she said.
During the Q&A session, she encouraged the students to share their memories of holidays and other traditions. Many echoed her own story of eating the seven fishes on Christmas Eve, while others spoke of their favorite pasta dishes, their grandparents and their memories of visiting Italy.