Breaking the Mould: A Memoir


230 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 1-55071-033-8
DDC C818'.5409





Elizabeth St Jacques is the author of Echos All Strung Out, Dance of
Light, and Around the Tree of Light.


For almost half a century, Penny Petrone of Thunder Bay, Ontario, taught
elementary, high-school, and university students in Canada, Germany,
France, and Africa, and lectured in several Italian universities. For
her work in Native literature in Canada, the Gull Bay Ojibway bestowed
upon her the title of honorary chief. In 1992, Petrone, who is currently
professor emeritus of education at Lakehead University, received the
Order of Ontario.

This memoir begins with the experiences of Petrone’s parents, who
immigrated from Italy to Thunder Bay at the turn of the century. We
learn of the hardships they and other Italians faced: racial and
linguistic discrimination, lowly jobs, arrests of both men and women for
petty crimes. We also learn about the warm and often humorous side of
the Italian experience in Thunder Bay. Petrone’s mother, “a woman of
great intelligence and inner strength,” taught her five children that
“fortune favors the bold.” The author of this absorbing and
entertaining memoir apparently took that statement to heart.


Petrone, Penny., “Breaking the Mould: A Memoir,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024,