Tuesday, May 15

Italy-Themed Books & Italian Expat Writers - Great Reads

As I mentioned in the Dove Sono? section of my blog page (right hand column), this past weekend I had the great fortune to be invited to a wonderful literary event to showcase my book.  It was hosted in the garden of Rome's cozy Beehive Hotel (whose owners, Linda&Steve also run the website Cross-Pollinate & proffer excellent information about places to & fro on their blogs.  Our other hostess with the mostest was the inimitable Michelle Fabio, (blogger of Bleeding Espresso & house mother to many kids - goats, that is, whose antics are featured on her site Goat Berries and co-founder of World Nutella Day!) now co-editor & chief marketeer of Gemelli Press, a boutique publishing company based in Seattle, Washington / Calabria, Italy that combines the dual passions of literature & all things Italian.  
Note:  all of the aforementioned sites (click on the names above) sport pages and cool things on Facebook.
Michelle regaled us with brief synopses of many of their titles, and I was particularly intrigued by Wrestling with the Devil the story of a boy put on an ocean liner with nothing but provolone cheese in his pockets departing from the Naples Bay and heading for a new life in America. He was only 10. But soon found the art of wrestling...
Throughout the day, I was finally able to put faces to familiar names.  It seemed so many of us had exchanged comments on each other's blogs, read each other's works, seen the movie, tried the app.  
So here is a 2012 Who's Who in Italy Expat Writers:

Arlene Gibbs is a writer & interior decorator based in Rome.  She moved to Italy four years ago after working in Hollywood as a film executive and producer for ten years. Arlene recently co-wrote the hit American movie, JUMPING THE BROOM and self published her novel THE REBIRTH OF MRS. TRACEY HIGGINS.  

Eleonora Baldwin is an American-born, Roman-bred food & lifestyle writer.  She hung up her showbiz boots and stopwatch in 2010 after 15 years in the industry, and has since been relying on her pen, curiosity and appetite for guidance in the gastronomic bounty of the (Eternal) City she calls home. Eleonora is Chief Editor for a restaurant content company Cibando, and she offers personalized gourmet tours of the city, contributes to several online webzines, and indulges her newfound passion for photography.

Sara Rosso is an American digital strategist, writer, & photographer living in Milan, Italy. She writes about food at Ms. Adventures in Italy, about technology and growing your business at When I Have Time.com, and about healthy living at Food Blogger on a Diet.  Her photography has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and La Cucina Italiana, and her writing can be found all over the Internet as well as in Fodor's & Zagat guides. She has two books on Amazon, How to order an Italian coffee in Italy [basically, they're not called 'lattes' or ventis and you seriously don't leave with your cup in hand - considered blasphemous in these parts] and The Unofficial Guide to Nutella.  Check out her Amazon page here.

Gillian McGuire – app author, information curator, and Rome expert – has been living as an expatriate, in various countries in Africa and now in Rome since 1991. Gillian has put her insatiable curiosity and knowledge to create a great new app called Rome for Expats which  is filled with information for both newcomers and oldtimers alike.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, author Terry H. Bhola surely never stays in one place. After an academic stint, a career in New York's sizeable publishing industry Terry ended up in Umbria, where he has published a book of his experiences there, Searching for Wild Asparagus in Umbria. One critic wondered if he wasn't an alcoholic, since the book discusses a great deal of wines - but Terry adamantly refutes the charge.  And as a fellow pet lover, I loved Terry's claim to fame to have "named all the dogs in my village in Umbria."  That's a big deal since although they are kept, dogs are not considered pets.

Flaminia Chapman was born in Texas to an Italian mother who refused to let her kids speak English until the age of 5.  That was a good thing, because at the age of 10, her family moved to Rome permanently. At school, she had to learn about dettati and pizza bianca at snacktime. Her last few years of high school and college were spent in Texas, studying abroad, and traveling as much as possible.  Flaminia moved back to Rome to work as a tour guide and Italian travel consultant.  Six years later, she decided to put all the knowledge she had accumulated over the years of working with incoming travelers into the Rome Insider's Guide app.

Writer and historian Mary Jane Cryan has the claim to fame of living in Italy since 1965, yet still considers herself an 'expat'. She celebrates her longevity with her terrific blog filled with all kinds of inside secrets:  http://50yearsinitaly.blogspot.it/  She sets up study abroad programs and works with tour operators and adult learners.  She is a contributor to scholarly journals, guidebooks (such as Eyewitness Guide to Rome and Fodor’s), print and online magazines, and she also lectures on luxury cruise ships plying the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black Seas.  From her palazzo near Rome, she publishes history and travel books about central Italy and has received numerous awards for her website, books and conferences.  Her latest book is Etruria travel, history & itineraries.  You can read more about it off her website, Elegant Etruria.  


Erica Firpo - writer, consultant and secret baker. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Hufffington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, LA Times, Oryx Magazine, and The American Magazine, and she has also been editor to Luxe Guide Rome and Nile Guide Rome.   Erica authored Insight Guide's Rome Select, a cultural guidebook to Rome, and authored/self-published the Little Black Book Rome (English/Danish) and Little Black Book Copenhagen.  She is also a contributor to Fodors and when Erica isn't writing, she experiments in cookies.

Pamela Sheldon Johns is the author of 16 cookbooks, primarily focused on traditional, regional Italian cuisine. She has been leading culinary workshops in Italy since 1992 and has lived here full-time since 2001.  Pamela is the owner/farmer of Poggio Etrusco, a certified-organic agriturismo in Montepulciano where she hosts cooking classes and produces a high quality organic extra-virgin olive oil.
Pamela has been featured in Travel + Leisure, on CNN.com (Tuscan food tour),  Wall Street Journal (one of the top 10 culinary guides in Europe),  Cooking Light, and Food & Wine magazine (Top Cooking Schools in Italy).  Although calm by nature, her 15-year-old daughter has now brought a lot of drama into her life right now!
Her latest book is Cucina Povera - Tuscan Peasant Cooking and you can usually catch Pamela at her Poggio Etrusco B&B (either online & off!)   

Originally from Tennessee, Linda Lappin has lived in Rome since 1978, when she first came to Italy on a Fulbright grant.  She is a novelist, poet,  travel writer, and literary translator as well as a lecturer at University of Rome La Sapienza.  She is international prose editor for the WebdelSol Review and associate editor of Serving House Books. She conducts writing workshops and retreats in Vitorchiano, at the Centro Pokkoli.  
Linda's first novel, The Etruscan, won second place in the 2010 New York Festival of Books. 
Her second novel, Katherine’s Wish, about the life of Katherine Mansfield, was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award.  And she is now busy penning her third novel, Signatures in Stone, a mystery story set in Bomarzo. Her recent travel essay, Pane & Pecorino, about the simple life in Tuscany, won the bronze medal in travel memoir from Travelers Tales. 

p.s. We have since created our own Italy Expat Writer's page on Facebook. Stop in some time!

1 comment:

arlenegibbsdecor.com said...

It was great to meet you the other week. Fantastic write up!