Italian Days

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Author Grove/Atlantic $0 (479p) ISBN 978-1-55584-311-3
This is a rare pleasure: a travel book of almost Victorian amplitude that is also the product of a keen contemporary mind. Harrison, one of the best essayists around, as well as an occasional short story writer and a one-time novelist, journeyed to Italy in search of a national ethos as well as her own past. She discovered a great deal about both. Her accounts of living in turn in Milan ( which she dislikes), Florence, Rome (where she feels ultimately at home), Naples and Calabria are captivating--rich with artistic and architectural insights, full of flashing, quirky asides and offbeat encounters. The writing is superb: eloquent, witty, colorful and lyrical. When she finally comes face to face with some of her distant relatives, Harrison catches wonderfully the ambivalence with which two cultures greet each other across an abyss of space and years. Italian Days does what all really fine travel writing does: it inspires the reader to look at life's possibilities anew. (Aug . )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 479 pages - 978-0-395-55131-8
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-87113-727-2
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