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"The Fortunate Pilgrim is my best
and most literary book. And, even though it was very well
received by the critics, it made no money."
The Fortunate Pilgrim ©1964 by Mario Puzo
Orig. Published by Atheneum Publishers, Inc.
1997 Edition Published by Random House, Inc.
Book dedicated to the Puzo family and Norman
From the barren farms of Italy to the cramped tenements of New York, the immigrant families struggle with an adopted life -- none more so than the Angeluzzi-Corbos. At their head stands Lucia Santa, wife, widow and mother of two families. It is her formidable will that steers them through the Depression and the early years of war. But she cannot prevent the conflict between Italian and American values -- nor the violence and bloodshed which must surely follow....
The Fortunate Pilgrim
Random House says:
This year  marks the 25th anniversary of the movie version of Mario Puzo's bestselling novel of all time, The Godfather. Before that book, however, Puzo wrote The Fortunate Pilgrim, which is, in many ways, the Ur-Godfather.
Chronicling the life of Italian immigrants in Depression-era New York, The Fortunate Pilgrim was published to rave reviews in 1965: The New York Times called it "a classic," and last year New York magazine said it "could have put Puzo on track to be the Italian Malamud or Henry Roth."
The Fortunate Pilgrim is the real birthplace of the Godfather. As Puzo says, the book's hero, Lucia Santa, is based on his own mother. And as he wrote what was to become the world's bestselling novel, "whenever the Godfather opened his mouth, in my own mind I heard the voice of my mother. I heard her wisdom, her ruthlessness, and her unconquerable love for her family and for life itself.... The Don's courage and loyalty came from her; his humanity came from her... and so, I know now, without Lucia Santa, I could not have written The Godfather."
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