A colorful ethnography of an Italian ladies' club, this book explores the historical and linguistic importance of the women's language and behavior.
Literally translated, fare bella figura means "to make a beautiful figure," and figuratively it refers to the act of putting on a good show, performance, or display. The author uncovers the "real rules" of an Italian "ladies'" club by analyzing their language and behavior. In so doing, she gives examples of the historical and linguistic importance of this concept, as well as its potential for cross-cultural misunderstanding.
Gloria Nardini is Visiting Lecturer of English and Managerial Communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"Che Bella Figura! is an excellent ethnography of a fascinating topic, conceptualized in a most innovative and useful way. It will be important not only for the specific and very interesting description it offers of a women's cultural club but also for the model it offers for studying such organizations. Nardini has an excellent eye, and she demonstrates subtle and profound understanding of this cultural group. " — Amy Shuman, The Ohio State University
"Che Bella Figura! is written in a lively and always engaging style in a strong, authoritative voice. Nardini's insights into reading Italian women's culture through language and behavior are remarkably unique. She provides an excellent demonstration of the analysis of how language and culture operate together. " — Fred L. Gardaphe, State University of New York at Stony Brook, author of Italian Signs, American Streets