• Susan Russo Anderson

Introducing Serafina

Updated: Aug 9

Serafina Fiori, midwife and sleuth, was born in 1827 to parents of the merchant class in Trano Mare, a

fictional village near Palermo in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

She married Giorgio Fiori, the apothecary’s son, in 1847. They had seven children.

She died on Elizabeth Street, Lower East Side, in 1914, but she survives: She is a character, and characters are immortal.

A snippet in her voice

June 7, 1860

Mario brought home the paper today. Carmela grabbed it from his hands. Giorgio said Garibaldi had won, we’d all won. He voted for Unification in the plebiscite that fall, but I was sorry for the queen. Giorgio laughed at that, said she never cared a jot for Sicilians, but I have no plans to remove her picture from the parlor.

Note: Giornale di Sicilia published for the first time 161 years ago today.

Photo: cover, Death of a Serpent. Design, Derek Murphy

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