Breath of the Onion: Italian-American Anecdotes is a three-part collection of forty-eight prose pieces and a few old, family recipes. A handful of Italian characters, some of whom immigrate to Illiis, are celebrated. The story begins in a twelfth century Tuscan mountain village in the 1940s. Part two covers the narrator's short visit to Italy after forty years and the changes he finds, even in that ancient and isolated mountain village. Part three is about life in the suburbs west of Chicago and about the pressures the new world imposes on an ethnic culture. Language, customs, and values are affected and modified, often with humor and a new understanding.