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Shirley HazzardHofstadter's book—free of knowingness, charged with experience—is written with the ease of affection and discovery. Subtitled A Romance of Naples, it is a story of love—for an arcane city and for a girl, Benedetta, who embodies the Neapolitan enigma. The city prevails on every page, in its theatricality, singularity and sagacity, familiarity and formality, erudition and street acuity; its logic and its resilience under adversity.
—The New York Times