When in Florence

Richard Cortez Day, Author Doubleday Books $15.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-385-23157-2
The Americans and Italians who come alive in these 15 storiesa first collectionseem at times almost incidental to the true protagonist: the glorious, monumental, squalid city of Florence itself. The reader is constantly aware of the great ghostspoets and painters, sculptors and architectswhose presence give Florence its singular character. In the delightful opening tale, ""A Chagall Story,'' a man drops dead in the street, but death is only the prelude as his spirit swoops and swirls through the churches and piazzas looking for the angel who will lead him to heaven. Instead, he learns from a 15th century saint with a Yiddish accent that there is no such place. And the final story, ``First Love,'' describes the sojourn in Boccaccio's city of a feckless, charming American, writing his own decameron-and Tuscan-cookbook, and his adolescent daughter; she undergoes a chaste induction into the arts and sciences under the tutelage of a doting elderly Italian. The stories move amiably through the middle ranges of experiencesengaging, deftly composed, acutely observant. January 24
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-595-09255-0
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