Biography

Most recent publication:
Crossing the Alps, a novel

Barolini's newest work is an agile
coming of age novel set in post World
War II Italy. The Italian edition received
praise for its authentic background.

"...a serious literary artist and a spokesperson with a feisty feminist conscience..."

Helen Barolini's fiction and non-fiction has created a bridge between the United States, her home land, and Italy, the ancestral land. Awarded a writing grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for her first novel, Umbertina, Barolini is the author of twelve books and many short stories and essays that have been cited in annual editions of BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS. She has received an American Book Award and other honors, has been a Resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center on Lake Como, and a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, an invited writer at Yaddo and the MacDowell colony, a writer in residence at the Mark Twain Quarry Center of Elmira College. Three of her books have appeared in translation in Italy where she has lectured as an invited American author. In 2007 she spoke on her late husband, Antonio Barolini, at a conference in Padua,Italy.


Helen Barolini was born and raised in Syracuse, NY and attended local schools. She attended Wells College,graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University and received a Master's degree from Columbia University. She was an exchange student at the University of London where she studied contemporary English literature, and then traveled in Europe writing "Letters from Abroad" for the Syracuse Herald Journal. Following studies in Italy, she married the late Italian author and journalist Antonio Barolini.
In their married life of several moves between Italy and the United States, Helen Barolini became the English translator of Antonio's writings that were published in The New Yorker, Reporter and other American publications.
Given the intercultural themes of her work linking her American birth and education with her ancestral Italy, Helen Barolini has participated in international conferences and her work has been the subject of many student theses both here and abroad.
She has been honored by MELUS, the Hudson Valley Writers Center and other organizations for her literary work.

AWARDS AND HONORS

2010 October 2, Hudson Valley Writers Award

2008 Italian Literary Prize, Premio Acerbi for Italian
edition of the novel UMBERTINA

2006 Eugene Walter Short Story Award

2003 Woman of the Year Award in Literature from Italian Welfare league, New York

2003 Sons of Italy Literature Award

2001 Ars et Literas Award from the American Italian Cultural Roundtable

2000 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States

2000 Chiaroscuro: Essays of Identity included in Houghton Mifflin's Notable Works of American Literary Non-Fiction in their publication Best American Essays of the Century

1992 Resident Writer at Simon's Rock, Mass.

1987 Susan Koppleman Award of American Culture Association for the best anthology in the feminist study of American Culture for The Dream Book

1986 American Book Award of The Before Columbus Foundation for The Dream Book

1984 Americans of Italian Heritage "Literature and the Arts Award"

1982 American Committee on Italian Migration "Women in Literature" Award for Umbertina

1977-79 Member, The Writers Community, New York City

1976 National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Creative Writing

1970 Marina-Velca essay prize in Italy

Selected Works

Helen's maternal grandfather, Angelo Cardamone. He and his wife Nicoletta immigrated from Italy to Utica, NY in 1880.

Helen with maternal grandmother, Nicoletta Cardamone.

Helen's parents, Anthony and Angela Mollica in Syracuse, NY.

Helen and Antonio Barolini and their three daughters, Teodolinda, Susanna, and Nicoletta, while living in Rome.

Memorial plaque at the boyhood home of author Antonio Barolini dedicated to his memory by the city of Vicenza.

With daughter Susi's family in Italy.