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  • 456 pages
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  • 456 pages
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emigrating from Italy, immigrating to Canada, new culture, Italian Canadian, cultural expectation, accept cultural differences, familial expectation

In Search of an Identity
The Autobiography of an Immigrant
by Stella Bordignon

In Search of an Identity: The Autobiography of an Immigrant recounts the story of an Italian immigrant's experience of coming to Canada. Stella Bordignon was born in a small town in Calabria, Italy and following the devastation of World War II, she immigrated as a young teen in the late 1950s with most of her family to Toronto, Canada. The story highlights the difficulties and challenges of learning a new language, finding work and integrating into a new culture. As a young woman, Stella marries, has children and eventually returns to school to become a social worker. She recounts her struggles in balancing family, taking care of her aging mother, and asserting herself through her education and career. All throughout, she recounts stories of not only loss and hardship, but of love and success. This is her story of a tumultuous yet blessed life in which she seeks to understand her identity.

Stella Bordignon photo

Stella was born in 1943 in the shadow of World War II in a small town in Calabria, Italy. Following the devastation of the War, she left her home with her mother to join her extended family in Canada. There she married, raised her family, and returned to school to earn her high school Diploma, a Bachelors degree in psychology, and Honours degree in Social Work. A successful career as a Social Worker followed. She is now retired and lives in rural Ontario, taking pride in volunteering for the local community while enjoying gardening, cooking, travelling and spending time with her grandchildren.


Stella Bordignon

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