Florence: A Delicate Case

Florence: A Delicate Case

by David Leavitt
     
 

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The third in the critically acclaimed Writer and the City Series - in which some of the worlds finest novelists reveal the secrets of the cities they know best - Florence is a lively account of expatriate life in the city of the lily.

Why has Florence always drawn so many English and American visitors? (At the turn of the century, the Anglo-American

Overview

The third in the critically acclaimed Writer and the City Series - in which some of the worlds finest novelists reveal the secrets of the cities they know best - Florence is a lively account of expatriate life in the city of the lily.

Why has Florence always drawn so many English and American visitors? (At the turn of the century, the Anglo-American population numbered more than thirty thousand.) Why have men and women fleeing sex scandals traditionally settled here? What is it about Florence that has made it so fascinating - and so repellent - to artists and writers over the years?

Moving fleetly between present and past and exploring characters both real and fictional, Leavitts narrative limns the history of the foreign colony from its origins in the middle of the nineteenth century until its demise under Mussolini, and considers the appeal of Florence to figures as diverse as Tchaikovsky, E.M. Forster, Ronald Firbank, and Mary McCarthy. Lesser-known episodes in Florentine history - the moving of Michelangelos David, and the construction of temporary bridges by black American soldiers in the wake of the Second World War - are contrasted with images of Florence today (its vast pizza parlors and tourist culture). Leavitt also examines the citys portrayal in such novels and films as A Room with a View, The Portrait of a Lady and Tea with Mussolini.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Bloomsbury's Writer and the City series continues in fine form with this third entry. Novelist David Leavitt is well qualified to write about expatriate life in Florence. He has coauthored two books on Italy and resides for part of each year in Tuscany. Both his narrative gifts and his immersion in his adopted land are visible in his vivid descriptions of Florence and his knowledge of its novel-like history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596918436
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,010,568
File size:
468 KB

Meet the Author

David Leavitt is the author of several novels and short story collections, most recently The Marble Quilt. With Mark Mitchell, he has co-written two books about Italy, Italian Pleasures and In Maremma. He is a recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and was recently named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. David Leavitt divides his time between Tuscany and Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches at the University of Florida.

David Leavitts fiction has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the LA Times Fiction Prize, and shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harpers and Vogue, among other publications. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he is Professor of English at the University of Florida and edits the literary magazine Subtropics.

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