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Athabasca University

Frank G. Paci

Photo of Frank G. Paci

Frank G. Paci was born in Pesaro, Italy, in 1948. He emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1952 and grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. His education includes a B.A. in English (1970) and B.Ed. (1975) from the University of Toronto where he was encouraged to write by Margaret Laurence who was Writer-in-Residence at the time. His first novel, The Italians, appeared in 1978 and became a Canadian bestseller. In 1980 he earned an M.A. in English from Carleton University. His second novel, Black Madonna (1982), is still his most popular book because of the depiction of immigrant women and feminist ideas. Paci is one of the most important Italian-Canadian novelist working in English and helped to create the phenomenon of Italian-Canadian literature. He writes in the realist tradition and explores the struggles of Italian immigrant families in Northern Ontario. In addition to ethnic duality and the generational conflicts, his novels deal with questions of the essential self and the other. This philosophical dimension is evident in Black Madonna and in The Father (1984). In 1991 Paci began a narrative series with Black Blood, which continues with Under the Bridge (1992), and Sex and Character (1993), which recreates a scene between the protagonist, an aspiring writer, and Margaret Laurence. This Bildungsroman series continues with The Rooming-House (1996). In 1999 he brought out Icelands, which deals with the triumphs and pitfalls of hockey. Short stories by F.G. Paci have been included in Other Solitudes (1990) and The Anthology of Italian-Canadian Writing (1998). Frank Paci is married, with a son, and teaches high school in Mississauga, Ontario.

Updated February 12 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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