"Pasquale considered his friend's face. It had such an open quality, was such a clearly American face . . . He believed he could spot an American anywhere by that quality - that openness, that stubborn belief in possibility, a quality that, in his estimation, even the youngest Italians lacked. Perhaps it was the difference in age between the countries - America with its expansive youth, building all those drive-in movie theaters and cowboy restaurants; Italians living in endless contradiction, in the artifacts of generations, in the bones of empires.
This reminded him of Alvis Bender's contention that stories were like nations - Italy a great epic poem, Britain a thick novel, America a brash motion picture in Technicolor - and he remembered, too, Dee Moray saying she's spent years 'waiting for her movie to start' and that she'd almost missed out on her life waiting for it."
- Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins