War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944

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$18.95  $17.62
New York Review of Books
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During the Second World War, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. She is the author of Images and Shadows; A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary,
1939-1940; Leopardi: A Study in Solitude; and The Merchant of Prato, among others.

Virginia Nicholson is a social historian and writer known for her works on women's history. She is the the author of five books, including Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, and most recently, Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s.
"Origo's diary is a compelling story of heroism, compassion, and--in the author's words--'the most primitive traditions of ungrudging hospitality, uncalculating brotherhood . . . the shared, simple acts of everyday life."
--Vic Sussman, The Washington Post

"[War in Val d'Orcia] is a remarkably moving document that, like the best of the elemental war stories, eventually becomes a statement about the unplanned nature and folly of war."
--Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times

"A welcome rediscovery, evoking a unique, strange moment in civilian/soldier wartime-history with spare, vital immediacy."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A remarkable war diary."
--Daily Telegraph

"It is jolting to recall, through Origo's sober and self-effacing prose, the atrocious conditions of the summer of 1944."
--Financial Times