Obituary for Giose G. Rimanelli
Distinguished Author; Professor
Giose G. Rimanelli, of Lowell, MA, and Pompano Beach, FL, died January 6, 2018, in Lowell, aged 92 years. He was the beloved husband of Dr. Sheryl Lynn Postman (Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell), with whom he shared 29 years of marriage.
Born in Casacalenda, Italy, on November 28, 1925, he was the son of the late Vincenzo and Concettina (Minicucci) Rimanelli. He was initially educated in a Franciscan seminary in Foggia (Ascoli Satriano) and left after a period of five years. He arrived in the U.S. in 1960.
Arrested by the Fascists in Venice in 1943, he was sent to a German labor camp from which he later escaped, risking execution as a deserter by the Nazis. In Milan, he was captured again, and given the choice to be executed or enlist in the Fascist troops deployed under Mussolini. Finally, he was sent to Vercelli, where he, again, was forcibly enrolled with the Legion Tagliamento. When the war ended in 1945, Rimanelli was imprisoned in the Allied concentration camp of Coltano, and later escaped from a train transporting war prisoners to Africa. His 1953 debut novel, Tiro al piccione (The Day of the Lion, Random House), a fictionalized account of his journey through Italy’s Civil War translated into eight languages, was later made into a highly acclaimed movie by Giuliano Montaldo. The novel, as he told Cesare Pavese, told the story of a young boy like himself who fought on the wrong side.
Giose was the first Italian to be invited to speak at the Library of Congress in 1960. In 1992, his avant-garde novel, Benedetta in Guysterlyand (his first to be written in English) won the prestigious American Book Awards in 1994. In 2008, he received the Premio Acerbi career award in special recognition of his contribution to Italian American literature, in Castel Goffredo, Italy. Giose was considered a writer of two worlds: Europe and America. All of his writings deal with the abuse and misuse of power.
Over the years, he wrote numerous novels, poetry collections, essays, screenplays, journal articles and reviews. Giose was a Professor at Yale, Sarah Lawrence, UCLA, British Columbia, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at SUNY Albany. He was also an accomplished painter in both oils and watercolor.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Marco Rimanelli of Florida, and Michele Rimanelli of Georgia. He was the brother of the late Antonio and Gino Rimanelli (who were both of suburban Detroit, Michigan).
His Funeral Service will be held at the Morse-Bayliss Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell, on Monday, January 15, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. Interment is private. Friends who wish may make memorial donations in his name to the Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452 (www.alz.org). Please visit Giose’s memorial tribute at www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com. Funeral Director, Frederick W. Healy.