Archive for the ‘italy’ Category

BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter

After looking up various images of the 1963 movie Cleopatra, the film that critically bombed but was lit up by the scandal of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, I saw a coastline of Italy that looked exactly like the cover of this book. It is a most felicitous cover that captures the mood and time that this novel begins, in 1962. A parochial innkeeper, Pasquali Tursi, lives in a rocky coastline village called Porto Vergogna (Port of Shame), a place the size of a thumb between two mountains, and referred to as “the whore’s crack.”

March 16, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Contemporary, Facing History, italy, Literary, US Northwest, World Lit

THE FLAMETHROWERS by Rachel Kushner

There isn’t much plot in this novel, but it is a hell of story/Bildungsroman of a young woman known as just Reno, an art studies graduate in 1977 who dared to race her Moto Valera motorcycle at high-speed velocities to create land art. Land art was a “traceless art” created from leaving an almost invisible line in the road from surging speeds at over 110 mph. “Racing was drawing in time.” Literally and figuratively.

January 1, 2014 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Contemporary, Facing History, italy, Literary, New York City, Reading Guide, Theme driven, Unique Narrative, y Award Winning Author

QUEEN OF AMERICA by Luis Alberto Urrea

Like its predecessor, THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER, Urrea’s sequel, QUEEN OF AMERICA is a panoramic, picaresque, sprawling, sweeping novel that dazzles us with epic destiny, perilous twists, and high romance, set primarily in Industrial era America (and six years in the author’s undertaking). Based on Urrea’s real ancestry, this historical fiction combines family folklore with magical realism and Western adventure at the turn of the twentieth century.

November 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Facing History, italy, Latin American/Caribbean, Mexico, NE & New York, New Orleans, New York City, Texas, United Kingdom, US Southwest, Washington, D.C., Wild West

HAND ME DOWN WORLD by Lloyd Jones

Who is Ines, an illegal African migrant who embarks on a hazardous sea crossing to Italy and Germany in search of her stolen son? At first, she is a total enigma; we keep wishing there was, indeed, more of her to see. Slowly and painstakingly, her inner identity is revealed in this haunting new book by Lloyd Jones, author of the acclaimed MISTER PIP.

September 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Germany, italy, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

JULIET by Anne Fortier

Hands up anyone who doesn’t know the story of Romeo and Juliet. No-one? Thought not. Chances are you cut your literary teeth on it, and it probably holds some special associations for you. That’s why it’s such a good subject for a modern/historical parallel romance story with sinister overtones.

July 29, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Facing History, italy, Reading Guide

THE BLIND CONTESSA’S NEW MACHINE by Carey Wallace

For a book that focuses on a blind contessa, this is an extraordinarily visual novel. It’s filled with vivid descriptions: afternoon sun streaming through the scarves in windows, stars that flare into full suns or disappear altogether, bright flashes of bird wings, wicks blazing in chandeliers, colorful marzipan fashioned into the shape of lemons, grapes, apples, and roses, glorious dresses in rich hues of blue watered silk with scarlett ribbons.

The beauty of THE BLIND CONTESSA’S NEW MACHINE is that the young author, Carey Wallace, shows us exactly what is lost when Carolina Fantoni, an eighteen year old Italian contessa, gradually loses her eyesight.

June 29, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, italy