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Not Paved With Gold

Italian-Canadian Immigrants in the 1970s

by Vincenzo Pietropaolo
preface by Nino Ricci

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portraits, social history
list price: $39.95
category: Photography
published: 2006
publisher: Between the Lines
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This collection of stunning photographs and inspired commentary documents the lives of Italian immigrants to Toronto. Award-winning photographer and cultural historian Vincenzo Pietropaolo has spent much of his life taking pictures inside the tightly knit Italian-Canadian community. While the images in this book are part of the fabric of life in Toronto, they transcend the specificity of place to evoke the lives of immigrants in cities around the world. With a foreword by novelist Nino Ricci, and context provided by the photographer,Not Paved with Gold pays tribute to the broad spectrum of the immigrant experience.

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â??As a writer I know I have the leisure to revisit a passage, a sentence, a single word, a dozen times if I need to get it right, but a photographer has no such luxury. It seems a little miracle that photographers ever get it right, that out of the usual chaos of things they can pick out the moment when a thing is truly revealed. This is a book full of such little miracles, one that repays the eye with new perspective and depth with each viewing.â?â?? Nino Ricci, from the Foreword

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Contributor notes

Vincenzo Pietropaolo is an award-winning photographer whose work has been widely published in Canada and abroad. An Italian-Canadian, he and his family immigrated to Canada in 1959. He is the author ofCelebration of Resistance: Ontario's Days of Action (BTL, 1999)

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Editorial Review

As Pietropaolo makes clear in his introduction, the photographs in this book have a very specific and personal meaning for him, coming out of his own experience of growing up the son of Italian immigrants. Pietropaolo's work has ranged across many subjects. But in all his work that first informing sensibility that derives from his immigrant background is still present-it is what gives his work its humanity, its tone, the sense of a complicity, as Pietropaolo says, between the viewer and the viewed. In this book, that complicity comes through as a rare feeling of insidedness, as if the photographer were not merely an observer but had somehow placed himself side by side with his subjects.

— From the foreword by Nino Ricci
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About the Authors

Vincenzo Pietropaolo

Vincenzo Pietropaolo was a city planner with the City of Toronto for over fifteen years before turning to photography full-time. His focus lies in social documentary photography and photojournalism and his projects have taken him to many cities around the world. Pietropaolo is an award-winning photographer and has been deemed “one of Canada’s pre-eminent documentary photographers” by Canadian Geographic Magazine. He and his partner still live in Toronto, ON where they are avid urban farmers in their own backyard.
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Nino Ricci

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