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Dear Friends And Darling Romans

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Overview

MARY CHAMBERLIN went to Rome for a three-month vacation, and, after three years, at the height of the Dolce Vita, wrote Dear Friends and Darling Romans. She had become—in spite of herself almost—a trenchant observer of things Italian: eating, drinking, births, cats, rented rooms, funerals, grandmothers, motorbikes, amore, especially amore. She had made friends with a complete cross-section of Italian life, including a favorite horse. She had noted, with the penetrating gaze of the American Midwesterner, the ...
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More About This Book

Overview

MARY CHAMBERLIN went to Rome for a three-month vacation, and, after three years, at the height of the Dolce Vita, wrote Dear Friends and Darling Romans. She had become—in spite of herself almost—a trenchant observer of things Italian: eating, drinking, births, cats, rented rooms, funerals, grandmothers, motorbikes, amore, especially amore. She had made friends with a complete cross-section of Italian life, including a favorite horse. She had noted, with the penetrating gaze of the American Midwesterner, the vagaries of Latin behavior and misbehavior. But this is no flippant pennyweight book; it is a wise and subtle study of the Italians, as compared to the Americans—and vice versa. Mary Chamberlin’s Italians are not cliché-Latins, but living, breathing human beings. Her implied criticisms of certain American nervous tics have nothing to do with the dismal wail of the usual ex-patriot. Mary Chamberlin is an extra-patriot, who loves and knows Rome as perhaps only an American ever can. Her book is brilliantly and unforgettably comic. The case histories of the ladies who have sworn off Latin lovers and founded a society called Italians Anonymous are sheerest of delights.

If you like a vigorous laugh that trails thoughts in its wake . . . if you are seriously concerned about America and its and how it earned its “place” in the world, this is your book. Even if all you want is to be amused, it’s still your book. It’s fresh and young and beautifully written, with something in it for everybody.

MARY CHAMBERLIN was born in Lebanon, Illinois, and is a graduate of Monticello College in Alton, Illinois, where she was admitted when only fifteen years old. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and had a brief theatrical career, terminated by marriage and motherhood.

She moved to Rome, where she has lived ever. She is also the author of The Palazzo, published as well by IDKPress, and has written for television, magazines, films, and newspapers. The script for her award-wining teleplay, The Ascent of P. J. O'Hara, is preserved in the archives of the Steven H. Scheuer Collection at Yale University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971092938
  • Publisher: IDKPress
  • Publication date: 12/1/1959
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2002

    "One Italian romance in a lifetime was enough.",

    This review is from THE BOOK READER. Spring-Summer 2002 edition. DEAR FRIENDS AND DARLING ROMANS. By Mary Chamberlin, illustrated by Nicola Simbari. IDKPress, paper. This beautifully written, elegantly observed book has a history. Author Chamberlin, an American, moved to Rome in 1954 and she's lived there ever since. But three years into her stay, she wrote this book and it was published for an audience of 1950s America. It's reissued now-and it's just lovely. Unvarnished America meets varnished, crazy-quilt, wild Italy. "I was in a country where Carmen and La Tosca packed the theater, and Elsie Dinsmore and Pollyanna played to an empty house." She applies for a room to a woman in her late thirties who introduces her to Mamma-together, the two go over recently divorced Chamberlin with the dogmatic eyes of the Catholic centuries. A very human story of a case history of one Elizabeth who came to Italy on a Fullbright, and after a confusing relationship realized: "One Italian romance in a lifetime was enough." Trieste "has the atmosphere of being nowhere more than any place I know." A trip to Yugoslavia results in culture shock as a man viciously beats a horse and everyone accepts the scene as totally normal. "The cries of the horse sounded louder than they had from above. Was there no way to make them understand that the horse's misery was their own..." The men of Italy, romance, a Latin dentist, the entire panorama of Italy and a Mediterranean culture ten times older than America's. An enthralling, wonderfully observed work of art from fifty years ago, rich with color and emotion and packed with intriguing characters. Chamberlin is truly a master storyteller.

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