Winter in Montreal


151 pages
ISBN 1-55071-117-2
DDC C843'.54





Translated by Antonio de Giacomantonio
Reviewed by John Walker

John Walker is a professor of Spanish at Queen’s University.


Winter in Montreal is the English translation of a novel first published
in 1982. The author, who was born in Casacalenda in southern Italy, once
served as editor in chief of the Montreal-based Italian newspaper Il
Cittadino Canadese.

There are two main narrative threads. One involves an illiterate
Italian peasant named Onofrio Annibalini who immigrates to Canada in
1959. Like many of his compatriots, he seeks riches but has to endure
humiliation, unemployment, exploitation at the hands job agents, and
indebtedness to friends before being forced into menial work in order to
survive. Linked to Onofrio’s story is that of Roberto Perussi, an
immigrant whose connections with his Mafiosi uncles affords him a life
of crooked pleasure before he succumbs to despair. Onofrio, ironically,
survives in his lowly position as a club bouncer and comes to realize
that the immigrant to the New World must abandon Old World values and
customs, in particular the notion of la disgrazia.

A preface by Sante Matteo and an informative afterword by Giose
Rimanelli on the life and works of Pietro Corsi enhance this
Italian-Canadian novel, which has important things to say about
emigration, relocation, and exile.


Corsi, Pietro., “Winter in Montreal,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,