Author: Jessie Chaffee

Jessie Chaffee is the author of the novel Florence in Ecstasy, recently published in Italy as La mia fame è troppo amore (Rizzoli/Fabbri) and forthcoming in five languages. She was awarded a Fulbright grant to Italy to complete the novel and was the writer-in-residence at Florence University of the Arts. She lives in New York City and is an editor at Words Without Borders. Find her at
March 1, 2019

Learning to love food again in Florence

There was a time in my life when food and my body became the enemy, when every meal was an accounting—I would break up my day’s rations into a mental list, stacking items one on top of the other. If the tower grew too high, I panicked. When writing my novel, Florence in Ecstasy, I […]
May 18, 2017

Lost causes at the Festival of St. Rita

Each year on May 22 the Basilica of St. Rita in the Italian hill town of Cascia is filled with roses, blessed in honor of the fifteenth-century woman whose body is preserved there. Roses also fill churches in Rome, Madrid, Manila, Chicago, and Florence, where I find the doors of the church of Santo Spirito—so […]