It is with deep sorrow that I write to share that Louise A. DeSalvo passed away on October 31, 2018. Louise was a cherished member of the Hunter College community, both in her professional capacity as the Jenny Hunter Endowed Scholar for Creative Writing and Literature and as a beloved friend to all who knew her.
An acclaimed fiction writer and memoirist, Louise drew on her personal experiences growing up in a working-class Italian-American family in Hoboken. Her book Vertigo, which won the Gay Talese Award and was a finalist for Italy’s Premio Acerbi prize for literature, is widely recognized as the most-influential Italian-American memoir. Louise’s writings on Virginia Woolf were equally significant. Her scholarly works and biographical studies remain among the most authoritative books ever written about Woolf. In addition, Louise edited editions of Woolf’s debut novel, Melymbrosia, as well as The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, which provided groundbreaking insights about the profound and passionate relationship that shaped both women’s lives and their writing.
Louise is survived by her husband, Ernest DeSalvo, MD; her two sons, Justin and Jason; her daughters-in-law, Lynn and Deborah; and her grandchildren, Steven and Julia.
I know many of you join me in extending sympathy to Louise’s family. If you would like to express your condolences, you may write to them at 36 Prospect Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.
With profound sadness,
Jennifer J. Raab