Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tony Ardizzone  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1949 in Chicago Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

*Born in Chicago, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

*In 2006 he was named Chancellor's Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches courses in creative writing, 20th century American fiction, ethnic American literature, and literary interpretation, and where he has twice served terms as director of the creative writing program*He has also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs*In 2005 he was the recipient of Indiana University's Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, given annually to a faculty member for exemplary research and teaching


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

In the Name of the Father
ISBN: 0385140800

Doubleday. 1978

When Abraham Schwartz died he left his son with a perplexing legacy -- the name Tonto. In the Name of the Father is a novel deeply in the American grain that tells the story of the funny and painful transit to manhood accomplished (and endured) by Tonto Schwartz.

It's the story of an emotional search for a lost parent and for a way of living.

While young Tonto moves forward through successive rites of passage the psychological direction of the novel is backward in time as he struggles to understand the father he never knew. Set on Chicago's tough North Side, In the Name of the Father is a lean and elegant portrait of an American youth, a book about Chicago, Catholic education, first friends, and first loves.

Its hero is a young man gifted with passion who fights his way through the grim realities of his life to a remarkable resolution. This is a moving and inspirational story, the debut of a young writer who is an important new voice in American fiction.

The Evening News: Stories (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction Ser.)
ISBN: 0820308609

University of Georgia Press. 1986

Tony Ardizzone writes of the moments in our lives that shine, that burn in the dim expanse of memory with the intensity and vivid light of the evening news. The men and women in these stories tend to arrange their days, order their pasts, plan their futures in the light of such moments, finding epiphanies in the glowing memory of a father's laugh or a mother's repeated story, in a broken date or a rained-out ball game.

Set mostly in Chicago's blue-collar neighborhoods, these stories focus on subjects that concern us all: disease and death, vandalism and sacrilege, rape and infidelity, lost love. In "My Mother's Stories" a son resolves his mounting grief over his mother's imminent death by recalling the stories she has told all her life. "My Father's Laugh" tells of a young man teetering on the brink of adulthood, and finally finding hope and reassurance from the remembered sound of his bus-driver father's laugh, from remembered phrases such as "Move away from the window, lady, can't you see I'm driving" and "If you ain't got a quarter or a token there, grandma, you and your purse can get off at the next stop."

The husband and wife in the title story look at their pasts -- his as an activist in the sixties and hers as a believer in reincarnation and the tarot -- in light of the news stories they watch on television each evening, and question whether they should bring a child into the world. And in "The Walk-On," a bartender and former varsity pitcher for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini finds the actual events of the most cataclysmic day in his past unequal to their impact on his life and so rewrites them in his mind, adding an ill-placed banana peel, a falling meteor, and a careening truck in order to create a more fitting climax and finally to leave those memories behind him.

Searching their pasts for clues to the present, searching the horizons of their days for love, the characters in The Evening News seek, and sometimes find, redemption in a world of uncertainty and brightly burning emotions.

Heart of the Order
ISBN: 0030085039

Henry Holt & Co. 1986

A novel of passion and obsession, Heart of the Order is the story of Danny ("Kiss of the Wolf") Bacigalupo, a baseball player from the alleys of Chicago's North Side, whose life and career are shaped by a tragic childhood accident. Danny knows about guilt from the stern Irish women in black hoods and floor-length robes, but their words don't move him -- not until the death of Mickey Meenan.

It was an accident: A line drive off Danny's bat collided with young Mickey's Adam's apple. Danny manages to shake the accident, but he can't shake the presence of Mickey.

Even after fourteen years of pro ball he doesn't know whether he's Mickey or Danny, a swinger for the fences or a player who hits safely. A magic realism informs the novel and takes the form of a monologue from a father to his son.

The book's first half focuses on the love between Danny and another memorable outsider, Grace Jankowski -- the fat girl with the beautiful eyes.

The second half reveals the tough world of minor-league baseball and Danny's friendship with a black shortstop named Book Johnson.

Throughout both sections of the novel, baseball becomes a personal crucible as Danny struggles to find himself and a single identity. Novelist David Bradley, winner of 1982's PEN/Faulkner Award, praised "the wisdom and humor of the novel's narrative voice and the stylistic risks that have transformed this straightforward story into art."

A section of the novel appeared in TriQuarterly magazine

it has also been awarded the 1985 Virginia Prize for Fiction, and has won for the author a major fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Larabi's Ox: Stories of Morocco
ISBN: 0915943727

Milkweed Editions. 1992

Milkweed Editions is proud to announce the publication of Larabi's Ox: Stories of Morocco by Tony Ardizzone, the winner of the 1992 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. Gloria Naylor, author of The Women of Brewster Place, Bailey's Cafe, and Mama Day, acted as competition judge and has written the foreword.

Larabi's Ox is a tapestry of interwoven stories that relates the tales of three Americans visiting Morocco for the first time. Sarah Rosen, traveling alone, is running away from a failed relationship

Peter Corvino, an American professor, is escaping from his own mediocrity

Henry Goodson is running toward his impending death from cancer. Morocco is strange, mysterious, colorful

the clash and interconnection between these travelers and the Islamic culture are the fabric of the collection.

"Larabi's Ox offers what the best fiction does: the felt human landscape with its terrifying heights and abysses

its oddly shaped and jarring strangeness

the awed realization on your part that, against all rhythm and reason, the artist has taken you home." -- Gloria Naylor

"Larabi's Ox places Tony Ardizzone in our first rank of story writers. His range is wide enough to embrace man and beast, infidel and Muslim, the fallen and the saved

his empathy is such that he immediately makes compelling any character that appears. These are wise stories, memorably told, beautifully written." -- W. D. Wetherell

"Ardizzone has gone into an alien land, taken it on its own terms, and captured the essence of the place -- the smells, the rhythms, the colors, the philosophy. Some writers deal with the foreign by making it familiar

Ardizzone has somehow kept it foreign, and so allows us to see what connects and what doesn't. When he's done, the place is at it is -- it is we who are different." -- David Bradley

"Vibrant, absorbing, and ingenious as a fine collage, Larabi's Ox is a collection of superb stories, and far more. Tony Ardizzone's stunning portrait of Morocco is a grave and intricate riddle whose answers reveal the soul of human striving. Look into these memorable characters and you will encounter your essential self." -- Susan Dodd

Taking It Home: Stories from the Neighborhood (Sunsinger Books Illinois Short Fiction)
ISBN: 0252064836

University of Illinois Press. 1996

Tony Ardizzone writes of the moments in our lives that shine, that burn in the dim expanse of memory with the intensity and vivid light of the evening news. The men and women in these stories tend to arrange their days, order their pasts, plan their futures in the light of such moments, finding epiphanies in the glowing memory of a father's laugh or a mother's repeated story, in a broken date or a rained-out ball game. Set mostly in Chicago's blue-collar neighborhoods, these stories focus on subjects that concern us all: disease and death, vandalism and sacrilege, rape and infidelity, lost love. In "My Mother's Stories" a son resolves his mounting grief over his mother's imminent death by recalling the stories she has told all her life. "My Father's Laugh" tells of a young man teetering on the brink of adulthood, and finally finding hope and reassurance from the remembered sound of his bus-driver father's laugh, from remembered phrases such as "Move away from the window, lady, can't you see I'm driving" and "If you ain't got a quarter or a token there, grandma, you and your purse can get off at the next stop." The husband and wife in the title story look at their pasts -- his as an activist in the sixties and hers as a believer in reincarnation and the tarot -- in light of the news stories they watch on television each evening, and question whether they should bring a child into the world. And in "The Walk-On," a bartender and former varsity pitcher for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini finds the actual events of the most cataclysmic day in his past unequal to their impact on his life and so rewrites them in his mind, adding an ill-placed banana peel, a falling meteor, and a careening truck in order to create a more fitting climax and finally to leave those memories behind him. Searching their pasts for clues to the present, searching the horizons of their days for love, the characters in The Evening News seek, and sometimes find, redemption in a world of uncertainty and brightly burning emotions.

In the Garden of Papa Santuzzu: A Novel
ISBN: 0312263414

Picador. 2000

In the Garden of Papa Santuzzu is a magical, warm, and wise novel about a close-knit family's immigration from Sicily to America in the early 1900s. Wanting more for their children and grandchildren than a lifetime of servitude in the fields of a tyrannical Sicilian landlord, Papa Santuzzu and his wife, Adriana, push their seven sons and daughters, one by one, to immigrate to La Merica, a land of promise and opportunity. Here is a rich and vibrant novel about the stories families tell each other, stories that make up a deeply personal and a common history.


Awards

-- *The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction

-- *The Milkweed National Fiction Prize

-- *The Chicago Foundation for Literature Award for Fiction sponsored by the Friends of Literature

-- *The Pushcart Prize

-- *The Virginia Prize for Fiction

-- *The Lawrence Foundation Award

-- *The Bruno Arcudi Literature Prize

-- *Two individual artist fellowships in fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts

-- *The Black Warrior Review Literary Contest, 1977