About Olivia Cerrone

Olivia Kate Cerrone is the author of The Hunger Saint (Bordighera Press, 2017). Her Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction won the 2016 Jack Dyer prize from the Crab Orchard Review. A member of the PEN American Center, she serves as an associate editor for CONSEQUENCE Magazine and as a creative writing workshop facilitator for Writers Without Margins, a nonprofit organization dedicated to marginalized voices.

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Our Immigrant Origins

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Monday, January 2nd, 2017 | 1,756 views

My family’s undocumented past in America wasn’t known to me until I applied for dual citizenship with Italy not long ago. The vital records I gathered in the process offered a startling new perspective on our lineage, though it didn’t seem to matter much at the time. Some relatives even chuckled over how my great grandfather could’ve spent eighteen years living and working “illegally” as an economic migrant, not becoming naturalized until the 1930s, well after my grandmother was born. No one ever questioned his, or our family’s, place in this country as Americans. After all, his story was the embodiment of the American dream, having escaped the extreme poverty that ravaged the Sicily he knew in search of a better life.

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