Their Other Side: Six American Women and the Lure of Italy

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9780823226290: Their Other Side: Six American Women and the Lure of Italy

“Our lives are Swiss,” Emily Dickinson wrote in 1859, “So still―so cool.” But over the Alps, “Italy stands the other side.” For Dickinson, as for many other writers and artists, Italy has been the land of light, a seductive source of invention, enchantment, and freedom.

So it was for Helen Barolini, who, as a student in Rome after World War II, wrote her first poetry and gave birth to her own creative life, reinvigorating her mother tongue. In this book, Barolini celebrates the lives of other women whose imaginations succumbed to the lure of Italy.

Here Barolini profiles six gifted women transformed by Italy’s mythic appeal. Unlike Barolini herself, they were not daughters of the great Italian diaspora. Rather, they were drawn to an idea of “Italy” and its gifts―in whose welcome a new self could be created. Or discovered.

Emily Dickinson traveled to Italy only in the imaginative genius of her verse. Margaret Fuller struggled alongside her Italian lover in the political revolutions that gave birth to the Italian Republic, while the novelist and short-story writer Constance Fennimore Woolson found her home in Venice and Florence. Here, too, is the flamboyant artist Mabel Dodge Luhan, entertaining at her villa near Florence; and Marguerite Chapin of Connecticut, who married an Italian prince and in Rome founded the premier literary review of the mid-century, Botteghe Oscure. Finally, here is Iris Cutting Origo, the Anglo-American heiress who, with her Italian nobleman husband, built a Tuscan estate, where she wrote acclaimed biographies―and created a refuge from Mussolini’s fascism.

Linking these lives, Barolini shows, is the transforming catalyst of change in a new land. Their Other Side is a wise, warm, and deeply felt literary journey that brilliantly captures the enduring effects of Italy as a place, a culture, and an experience.

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About the Author:

Helen Barolini is the recipient of numerous prizes, including an NEA grant and an American Book Award. Her books include Umbertina and The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian-American Women.

Review:

With her splendidly interesting and well-written book of essays, Helen Barolini proves fully that Italy was not only a man's dream, but also hers, and the dream of great or liberated women of America who found in her the emotional articulacy or artistic perspicuity that they had longed for. (―The Montserrat Review)

Anyone who has felt Italy's special magnetism will treasure Helen Barolini's portraits of six American women whose lives it changed. In telling their stories, she includes her own experiences working and living in Italy over half a century, all in fascinating detail. (―Betty Boyd Caroli author of The Roosevelt Women)

...profiles six gifted women who were transformed by Italy's mythic appeal. (―Publishers Weekly)

Helen Barolini masterfully weaves biographies of six American women seduced by Italy. (―Alice Leccese Powers editor of Italy in Mind)

Barolini confidently engages past and present Dickinson scholars in an essay that reflects her wide reading but remains jargon free, personal, and a delight to read. (―Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin)

Offers Italy as a metaphor for transformation... (―Offbeat Travel)

. . . With skill, wit, and bite . . . a kind of artful memoir. . . Recommended. (―Choice)

An acclaimed Italian-American author, Barolini was determined to search for other American women writers who had the courage to look beyond the boundaries of their ordinary lives. (―Feile-Festa)

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Our lives are Swiss, Emily Dickinson wrote in 1859, So still-so cool. But over the Alps, Italy stands the other side. For Dickinson, as for many other writers and artists, Italy has been the land of light, a seductive source of invention, enchantment, and freedom. So it was for Helen Barolini, who, as a student in Rome after World War II, wrote her first poetry and gave birth to her own creative life, reinvigorating her mother tongue. In this book, Barolini celebrates the lives of other women whose imaginations succumbed to the lure of Italy. Here Barolini profiles six gifted women transformed by Italy s mythic appeal. Unlike Barolini herself, they were not daughters of the great Italian diaspora. Rather, they were drawn to an idea of Italy and its gifts-in whose welcome a new self could be created. Or discovered. Emily Dickinson traveled to Italy only in the imaginative genius of her verse. Margaret Fuller struggled alongside her Italian lover in the political revolutions that gave birth to the Italian Republic, while the novelist and short-story writer Constance Fennimore Woolson found her home in Venice and Florence. Here, too, is the flamboyant artist Mabel Dodge Luhan, entertaining at her villa near Florence; and Marguerite Chapin of Connecticut, who married an Italian prince and in Rome founded the premier literary review of the mid-century, Botteghe Oscure. Finally, here is Iris Cutting Origo, the Anglo-American heiress who, with her Italian nobleman husband, built a Tuscan estate, where she wrote acclaimed biographies-and created a refuge from Mussolini s fascism. Linking these lives, Barolini shows, is the transforming catalyst of change in a new land. Their Other Side is a wise, warm, and deeply felt literary journey that brilliantly captures the enduring effects of Italy as a place, a culture, and an experience. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780823226290

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Book Description Fordham Univ Pr, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. annotated edition. 309 pages. 8.50x5.75x1.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0823226298

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