First published in 1960, ""The Coming of Fabrizze"" has been called by the ""New York Herald Tribune"" a 'comic folklore festival about an Italian American colony in Cleveland, Ohio, back in the 1920s when all the land was a little slaphappy - and no one more so than these transplanted countrymen of the Medicis, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Christopher Columbus...and others whose hearts have belonged to Italia'. More a myth or a legend than a realistic novel or sociological novel, ""Fabrizze"" is a celebration of the working class and a heroic tale of an immigrant who succeeds by virtue of hard work and honesty. Author Raymond DeCapite's characterizations of Italian Americans in Cleveland have been compared to the depictions of Armenian Americans in the early writing of William Saroyan, and Ann Ross of the ""New York Herald Tribune"" said that DeCapite's 'greatest achievement is his ability to achieve tenderness without sentimentality'.
Raymond DeCapite (1924-2009), a native Clevelander, drew on his family and his community heritage as inspiration for his books. His father and his maternal grandparents were immigrants from Italy. A graduate of Cleveland public schools, DeCapite received both his B.A. and M.A. from Western Reserve University. He knew the harder side of fighting for a living just as his characters did, having worked as a shipping clerk, a restaurant employee, a cashier, and a crane oiler. He was the recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohioana Award, and the Cleveland Critics' Circle Award.