Maria Laurino

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Maria Laurino is an American journalist, essayist, and memoirist.


Early life and education[edit]

Maria Laurino, a third generation Italian-American, grew up in northern New Jersey.[1] She graduated from Georgetown University and received her graduate degree in English Literature from New York University.


Laurino began her career as a journalist at the Village Voice [2] where she covered local and state politics and social issues, such as New York's exploding housing market and the resulting surge in its homeless population. In 1989 Laurino left the Village Voice to become the Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, serving until the end of his term in 1993. After leaving government, Laurino returned to freelance journalism, writing for numerous publications, including The New York Times; and her essays have been widely anthologized, including in the Norton Reader. Her first memoir, Were You Always an Italian?, (W.W. Norton, 2000) was a national bestseller and explored the issue of ethnic identity among Italian-Americans.[3] Her second memoir, Old World Daughter, New World Mother, (W.W. Norton, April 2009) examined the pull and tug the author experienced between Old World traditions that valued familial dependence and a New World feminism that prized female autonomy. In 2014, she published The Italian Americans: A History, chronicling the Italian American experience from 1860 to the present day (companion book to the PBS series of the same name). [4]


  1. ^ Growing Up Italian in America, San Francisco Chronicle, August 7, 2000 -- URL:
  2. ^ Tales of the City, The Village Voice, October 2005 -- URL:
  3. ^ When the Old Country is New Jersey, The New York Times, November 26, 2000 -- URL:
  4. ^ The Italian Americans. URL: