Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rose Musacchio Higdon  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1936 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Rose was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She attended Fenger high school and Chicago Teacher's College.

Biographical and Professional Information

Rose and her husband, author Hal Higdon, lived in chicago until 1958 when they moved to Long Beach, Indiana. After raising her children she returned to teaching until 1994 when she retired from teaching to assist her husband Hal market his books at Expos and on the Internet.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Falconara: A Family Odyssey
ISBN: 0963634615

Roadrunner Pr. 1993

Many generations ago, seven families fled Albania to escape a Turkish invasion. These were royal families and they feared their conquerors would follow.
The seven families sailed around the boot of Italy and up that country's western coast. Beaching their boat, they began life in a new land.
Then one day, they looked to sea and spotted Turkish sails. Fearful, the seven families moved further into the hills until they came to a large rock. Circling over the rock was a falcon, so they named their town Falconara and built their church upon the rock.
Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Rose Musacchio heard her mother tell the tale of the seven families and how they founded a tiny mountain town in southern Italy. But when did this migration occur? And was she, as her mother suggested, descended from royalty? The tale seemed preposterous, particularly given the poverty in Falconara that her parents had fled when they came to America early in the 20th century.
Yet how could she deny that the language her Ma and Pa spoke in the home (as did she) was not Italian

it was Arberesh, an Albanian dialect.
Rose's college history professor suggested Falconara had been settled in the 15th century, but how could a people maintain their language and culture for 500 years? Impossible, or at least improbable. Rose finally decided to find out with the help of her journalist husband, setting out on a twelve-year voyage to uncover the truth behind the family legend.
She learned about her father's grandfather Agosto, who gambled away the family lands. And her mother's dashing father Chico, who had his way with women. And a fearsome warrior named Scanderbeg. And her ancestors who commuted across oceans seeking a better life. Finally, what about the mysterious country from which came those ancestors came? Albania had been closed for decades to American historians and tourists. Only when the Iron Curtain fell was she finally permitted to visit Albania and learn both the beginning and ending of her own family history.
Rose Musacchio Higdon's book, "Falconara" (written in collaboration with her husband, Hal) tells the story of this family odyssey. It is a gripping tale, even more amazing because it is true.


Awards

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