di Donato, Pietro

di Donato, Pietro

(1911–92) writer; born in West Hoboken, N.J. His father was killed on a construction site when he was 11, but he became a bricklayer. By 1937 he was concentrating on writing and his semiautobiographical novel, Christ in Concrete (1939), brought him instant fame. He continued to write fiction, mostly naturalistic portrayals of the hard lives of Italian working-class immigrants in the U.S.A. such as Three Circles of Light (1960) or The Penitent (1962), but none of his subsequent work ever gained near the attention of Christ in Concrete.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.