Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Italian Days

by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

‘more than a sophisticated guide, Italian Days is an account of a deepening encounter, of the way a sensibility enters into a culture and a culture acts upon the psyche and the mind. . . . [It] is as accommodating, tolerant, evocative and heterogeneous as the culture it describes.” –Eva Hoffman, The New York Times

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 496
  • Publication Date October 19, 1998
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3727-2
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $20.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9029-1
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Italian Days is one of the richest and most absorbing travel books ever written”a journey down the Italian peninsula that immerses us in the inexhaustible plenty of that culture and the equally bountiful intelligence and sensibility of its author.

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, noted essayist, journalist, and fiction writer, brings us a fascinating mixture of history, politics, folklore, food, architecture, arts, and literature, studded with local anecdotes and personal reflections. From modern, fashionable Milan; to beautiful, historic Rome with its modern traffic and, even today, its sudden displays of faith; to primitive, brooding Calabria, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison reveals in all its glory and confusion her Italy, the country of her origins, where the keys to her past are held by those who never left.

Beautifully and eloquently rendered, Italian Days is a deeply engaging travelogue, but it is much more as well. It is the story of a return home”of friends, family, and faith”and of the search for the good life that propels all of us on our journeys wherever we are.

Praise

“A masterpiece of observation . . . with the lapidary clarity of great nonfiction writing.” –Andrea Lee, New York Times Book Review

“Contagiously exuberant . . . Will be the companion of visitors [to Italy] for years to come.” –Robert Craft, The Washington Post Book World

‘more than a sophisticated guide, Italian Days is an account of a deepening encounter, of the way a sensibility enters into a culture and a culture acts upon the psyche and the mind. . . . [It] is as accommodating, tolerant, evocative and heterogeneous as the culture it describes.” –Eva Hoffman, The New York Times

“A wholly absorbing travel journal–a literary adventure, as well as an excursion to celebrate Italy . . . [Ms. Harrison] has written a beautiful book.” –The New Yorker

“Harrison’s wonderful journal will make you update your passport and dream of subletting your job, home, etc. . . . With Harrison, you never know with whom you’ll be lunching, or climbing down a ruin. You just know you want to be there.

” –Glamour

“Barbara Grizzuti Harrison plunges herself and us into Italy, but her real study is life in all its earthly variety, from food to theology, and everything prepared by her pen tastes delicious. If, instead of Virgil, some great-souled woman had guided Dante through the Inferno and Purgatorio, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison’s voice is the one which might have spoken.” –Norma Rosen

Italian Days is a fine and generous book, wonderful in the abundance and subtlety of its observation, remarkable for its humor, honesty, and wisdom. It is a joy to read.” –Lewis Lapham

“The liveliness and beauty of Italian Days suits perfectly that of its subject. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison brought to Italy the most essential things–a sense of humor and of history, an active, complex, reflective intelligence, curiosity, enthusiasm, and a love for wonderful food–and she has come home with an essential and wonderful book.” –Francine Prose

“Told in a voice that is often droll but always loving, Italian Days is a vivid travel book–the best since Henry James. But it describes a spiritual odyssey too, that resonate autobiographically for readers.” –William McBrien

Italian Days is a fabulous trip through Italy with a wonderful, quirky, well-read friend, a friend who loves food, hates tourists, and knows everyone interesting. Pack your bags.” –Susan Cheever