Mother Tongue: An American Life in Italy

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi (Author) Patricia Hampl (Foreword by)
Available

Description

A probing and poetic examination of language, food, faith, and family attachment in Italian life through the eyes of an American who moved with her husband and family to Parma

In the 1980s, the American writer Wallis Wilde-Menozzi moved permanently with her Italian husband and her daughter to Parma, a sophisticated city in northern Italy, where he became a professor of biology. Her search for rootedness in the city that was to be her home introduced her to complexities in her identity as she migrated into another language and looked for links beyond the joys of Verdi, Correggio, and Parmesan cheese, which visitors have rightly extolled for centuries. The local resistance to change perceived as individualistic led Wilde-Menozzi to explore the pull and challenge of difference and discover the backbone she needed for artistic freedom.

In Mother Tongue, Wilde-Menozzi offers stories of far-sighted lives, remarkable Parma men and remarkable women, including the Renaissance abbess Giovanna Piacenza, the fighting Donella Rossi Sanvitale, and her own indefatigable mother-in-law. Framed with a new introduction by the author, and a new foreword by Patricia Hampl, this classic on diversity and tolerance, family, faith, and food in Italy and the United States is at once timeless and timely, a "large, beautiful window into the intelligent, literate, reflective life of Italy" (Shirley Hazzard).

Product Details

Price: $20.00  $18.00
Publisher: North Point Press
Published Date: March 17, 2020
Pages: 400
Dimensions: 5.4 X 1.2 X 8.2 inches | 0.75 pounds
ISBN: 9780865477780
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi's books include The Other Side of the Tiber and Toscanelli's Ray. Her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in Granta, The Best Spiritual Writing, Words Without Borders, and Tel Aviv Review. A collection of her essays was published in Italian as L'Oceano e'dentro di noi. Currently she is teaching migrant women who are waiting for their Italian papers.

Reviews

"Mother Tongue is a sustained and generous meditation on difference, the discovery of oneself and one's own culture through the urgent need to come to terms with another. Few writers have savoured Italy so intimately and intelligently, over so many years, or brought their experience to the page with such candour and clarity." --Tim Parks, author of Out of My Head: On the Trail of Consciousness