On April 7, Florence’s English-language news magazine The Florentine launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to fund production costs for a new bilingual literary review.
TheFLR. The Florentine Literary Review will showcase contemporary Italian short stories and poetry. Tales and verses by Italian authors will be published for the first time alongside the finest English translations. Issue One will be published in October 2016.
TheFLR fills an important gap: the translation of Italian short stories into English is sorely lacking and much needed to promote Italian culture around the world. Readers and lovers of Italian culture have a limited range of authors available to them. Professors of contemporary Italian literature who attempt to teach in translation find it almost impossible to assign readings, so this magazine will become an immediate reader in schools and universities.
Linda Falcone and The Florentine Press go way back. The first ever book that we published was her Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower, in 2006, which derived from a column she wrote in The Florentine. This book has sold almost 10,000 copies, as well as numerous copies of the Kindle Edition. Much loved by teachers and students of courses on Italian language and culture – including those taught by Linda herself – the book still has a strong readership.
The “sequel” in the same format came in 2008 with If They Were Roses. As demand continues to be high for these two books, we recently re-edited them, made up to date colourful covers that show how the two books are related, and reprinted them. If you haven’t read these delightful books, pick up the 2-book bundle for a special price, available for shipping worldwide (free in USA and Italy!).
To celebrate this reprinting, we accepted the kind invitation of luxury residence club Palazzo Tornabuoni in Florence to host a reading of some of Linda’s favourite tales from the two books. Perched, she says unsteadily, upon a high stool, she proceeded to entrance and enchant the full house of club members who enjoyed her tales of language, Italian culture and living in Italy. She read two stories and then asked for the audience’s feedback.
A gentleman asked a question about her personal experience and what brought her to Italy, and it was a pleasure to hear her response. Linda was raised in a bi-cultural family, she explained, so at age 16 she announced to her American father that she would be moving to Italy! This led perfectly into one of Linda’s favourite stories, the one that gives the book If They Were Roses its name. It’s the love story between an American man and a Venetian young woman who worked at a jewelry store. He worked “in gardens” and she was well-bred not to accept dates from strange men, but having sown the right seeds, their love blossomed. The story came off the pages of the book, narrated by Linda with a few asides, and it was such a pleasure to see how these stories still resonate with the public, but also how they remain very close to the author’s own experience.
Another member of the public asked Linda if it would be easier for her to write a story about Venetians or Florentines, to which Linda responded with her theory about how she approaches writing. “I think of a word, I write it at the top of the page, and then I write about that word for 750 words”. In this way, she doesn’t have to deal with the larger issue – Italians, Florentines, North, South, large concepts. She often says that “language is the best window onto Italian culture” – and so she approaches her understanding and explanation of that culture… one word at a time.
The concept of the lone artistic genius, epitomized by Michelangelo, does not apply to the production of modern books. While the author researches, writes and reviews his creation in relative isolation, occasionally depending on colleagues and peers for feedback and input, the real teamwork begins when the book reaches the publisher. In the case of From Marble to Flesh, this team has been larger than usual, taking advantage of technological tools for crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and collaboration. Hundreds of people have contributed to the process, making this book neither solely Victor Coonin’s nor The Florentine’s book, but your book. Continue reading People still love books
The Florentine Press wishes to thank the 157 backers of our Kickstarter campaign to fund the forthcoming book by Victor Coonin, “From Marble to Flesh. The Biography of Michelangelo’s David.” We raised a whopping 7296$ towards the production of the book, 146% of our 5000$ goal. Thanks to the enthusiasm of our readers and community, who supported the book by reserving it through the crowdfunding platform as well as by spreading the word to their friends, we’re able to print 1000 copies of this book about the world’s most famous sculpture. Stay tuned for upcoming events around the book launch.
At 5pm on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, join AWA and friends at the Sala del Fiorino in Pitti’s Modern Art Gallery for the unveiling of AWA’s latest restoration: The Three Sisters, an award-winning painting by twentieth-century artist, Elisabeth Chaplin, a woman artist who donated over 700 works to the Pitti in 1974. The restoration was led by Dr. Simonella Condemi, the Modern Art Gallery’s director, and carried out by Florentine restoration artist, Rossella Lari. It includes diagnostic analysis focused on the work’s state of conversation, executed by the Italian National Research Council’s Institute for the Conservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage. Continue reading Chaplin's Three Sisters restored
For the forthcoming publication of the book From Marble to Flesh: the Biography of Michelangelo’s David by Victor Coonin, The Florentine Press is relying on the public’s fascination with this Italian cultural icon to prompt donations on the American crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. Funds are being raised for printing costs that supplement the press’s own investment, and project backers have a chance to reserve and get the first copies of the book.
Continue reading Our next book on Kickstarter
TF Press and The Florentine are very proud to announce that the PBS television special INVISIBLE WOMEN was named a finalist for an Emmy in the best Historical/Cultural Program category by the regional National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Continue reading Invisible Women up for Emmy
We had a surprise visit at the office of The Florentine the other day. Helene Brandt, one of the two women cited in our book Art by Women in Florence who is still alive, came to see us and pick up a few copies of the book. Continue reading A visit from Helene Brandt
In early April we held a conference, in Italian, to celebrate the work of 19th-century female sculptor De Fauveau. The conference was exceptionally well attended both by scholars and by the curious public. Continue reading Press for De Fauveau
You’re invited to the launch of our latest book, Art by Women in Florence: Monday October 15, 2012 at noon, at the Cenacolo of Santa Croce. The authors, Jane Fortune and Linda Falcone, will be present, as will Prof. Alessio Assonitis, Director of the Medici Archive Project.
This event is open to all, no RSVP required.