Summer reading by Florence writers

Renaissance city reads for 2017 + new cookbooks

Editorial Staff
June 12, 2017 - 12:59

If you are wondering what book to indulge in this summer, The Florentine recommends two novels written by authors who have sought inspiration in varying measure from Florence (plus two Tuscan-themed cookbooks).

The Fabrications

by Baret Magarian: an Anglo-Armenian writer, poet and creative writing professor who was born and raised in London but who has made Italy his home, Magarian recently presented his novel at Florence’s Paperback Exchange.
The plot: When Bloch, a popular London novelist, starts writing a fictionalized story featuring his unremarkable friend Oscar the invented details start to come true.
Reviews: Kirkus Reviews: A resplendent tale about an unlikely prophet that deserves to be pondered at length and acted on. Jonathan Coe: A brilliant achievement…extremely original, ambitious and accomplished…a novel which seeks out the company of the modern masters. (Seattle/Washington: Pleasure Boat Studio)


Florence in Ecstasy

by Jessie Chaffee: an editor at online international literature magazine Words Without Borders, Chaffee was awarded a Fulbright Grant in Creative Writing to Italy to complete the novel, during which time she was writer-in-residence at Florence University of the Arts.
The plot: A young American woman arrives in Florence from Boston, knowing no one and speaking little Italian. But Hannah is isolated in a more profound way after a bout with starvation that has left her life and body in ruins. She is determined to recover in Florence.
Reviews: NPR: …Florence in Ecstasy is a beautiful but exhausting novel…There is a classic but reimagined narrative at work here. Alice McDermottThis is a remarkable debut-frank, serious, eloquent. (Los Angeles: Unnamed Press)

What's cooking?


Dabble in Emiko Davies’ beautiful “page lingerer”, Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast (Sydney/London: Hardie Grant Books). A celebration of the traditional cuisine of Tuscany’s Costa d’Argento in the far south of the region, Emiko tells, in words, recipes and photographs, personal stories and memories of the people she met while living in the area. Venture into Michelin-stardom with Peter Brunel’s new signature monograph, La Cucina a Tre Dimensioni: Gourmet, Fusion, Bistrot (Milan: Italian Gourmet). Sixty sublime recipes, in English and Italian, by the executive chef of Lungarno Collection’s restaurants. 

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