San Antonio Book Festival - Denise Tolan
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Book Festival Author

Denise Tolan

Denise Tolan’s work has appeared in The Penn Review, Atlas and Alice, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, and The Best Small Fictions, among others. Denise was a finalist for Best of the Net 2022 and the 2019 and 2018 International Literary Awards’ Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award. Her memoir is Italian Blood

More About Denise Tolan

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Book by Denise Tolan

  • Italian Blood: A Memoir by Denise Tolan

    Italian Blood: A Memoir

    “I’ve heard that some volcanic eruptions are soft with oozing streams of lava dancing down the side of the volcano like a Las Vegas chorus line. My father’s eruptions were quick, like bricks being thrown through a window.”

    Denise Tolan’s memoir-in-essay traces the legacy of violence in an Italian American family, showing how abuse reverberates both in the body and mind of a family. The book’s first part, “Blood is Not Water,” lays out how the origins of violence can infect the roots of a family tree. The second part, “Good Blood Doesn’t Lie,” shows what grows from those roots. Italian Blood is a raw, heartbreaking series of essays where everything is connected through literal and metaphorical blood. These essays offer a connection to anyone who suffered childhood shame, violence, or fear and provide reassurance that they are not alone.

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