An Italian Education: The Further Adventures of an Expatriate in Verona

An Italian Education: The Further Adventures of an Expatriate in Verona

by Tim Parks
     
 

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From the gifted author of Tongues of Flame and Shear comes the much-awaited sequel to his nonfiction bestseller Italian Neighbors. Parks focuses this time on his children, born and bred in Italy, and on the other children in the village near Verona where he lives to create a fascinating portrait of Italian family life.

Overview

From the gifted author of Tongues of Flame and Shear comes the much-awaited sequel to his nonfiction bestseller Italian Neighbors. Parks focuses this time on his children, born and bred in Italy, and on the other children in the village near Verona where he lives to create a fascinating portrait of Italian family life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Italian Neighbors, British-born Parks gave a wry portrait of his adopted Italy, where he lives with his native-born wife Rita in a village outside Verona. This engaging sequel is an affectionate family album focusing on the experience of raising their son, Michele, and daughter, Stefania, combined with general observations on childrearing practices in Italy. Parks believes the typical Italian child is born into a tight social matrix of caution, inhibition and a suffocating awareness of everything that can go wrong. For Italians, ``pregnancy is, inescapably, a pathology,'' and the intense mother-child relationship, suffused with eroticism, often produces young men with ``an extraordinarily inflated, mother-fed opinion of themselves.'' Beyond parenting, Parks serves up pungent cultural commentary. His Italy is a paradox, where an ancient mentality steeped in peasant Catholic traditions coexists with a hedonistic society that eagerly embraces all things modern. Parks's wit, eye for telling incident and sensuous prose make this a captivating family portrait. (July)
Donna Seaman
When expatriate novelist Parks wrote about living in Italy in "Italian Neighbors" (1992), he focused on the process of acclimation and his often tricky relationships with adults. Now, in another charming and fluidly composed volume of keen observations, amusing anecdotes, and creative musings, he considers the "world of children," especially of his own inventively bilingual son and daughter, who, Parks must concede, will grow up thoroughly Italian in spite of being half English. Childhood in Italy is a fecund topic for Parks, a perfect conduit for analyzing all the quirks of Italian society. As Parks attempts to define what exactly makes Italians Italian, he discusses everything from bureaucracy to lullabies, attitudes toward pregnancy and large families, food preferences, the worship of conformity, the "mama mystique," typical vacations, adultery, school events, and textbooks. Thus the concept of "Italian education" works on two levels. While Parks is describing how Italians teach each other to be Italian, he's also teaching us outsiders all about their richly textured culture. This is an intelligent and sunny book, glimmering with all the contradictions and joys of daily life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802115089
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.16(d)

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