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  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112580
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

Italian Life

A Modern Fable of Loyalty and Betrayal




How does Italy actually work? The bestselling writer on Italian culture sets out to answer this question -- and the results are often surprising

'Parks...offers detailed cultural observation, witty yet eagle-eyed, of what makes Italians so Italian' The Times
How does Italy really work?

When Valeria travels from hot, dusty Basilicata to begin her studies in a northern university town, she has little idea of the kind of education she will find there. Italian Life is her story, and that of the students and professors around her: a story of power and corruption, influence and exclusion, and the workings of a society where your connections are everything.

Written with flair and insight, Italian Life joins Tim Parks' bestselling books about his beloved and paradoxical adopted country. It is a gripping, entertaining, behind-the-scenes account of how Italy actually happens, and the ways it can surprise those who know it inside out.

'A satisfyingly truthful, entertaining and provocative comedy' Daily Telegraph

  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112580
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Tim Parks

Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives in Milan.

He is the acclaimed author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, In Extremis, A Season with Verona, Teach Us to Sit Still and Italian Ways. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the John Florio Prize and the Italo Calvino Prize.

Also by Tim Parks

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Praise for Italian Life

'The best interpreter of Italian ways in Italy'

Sunday Herald

'Parks is more than just an effortless raconteur: he offers detailed cultural observation, witty yet eagle-eyed, of what makes Italians so Italian'

The Times

'All Italy is here, its history, its character, its flaws'

Sunday Times

Refreshingly brilliant... Parks skilfully shows how the rules and the maneuverings within Italian university life mirrors those at work in Italian society... illuminating and entertaining. When Parks takes his reader behind the scenes and into a murky world of favouritism and nepotism, back-scratching and back-stabbing, collusion and exclusion, his narrative cracks up a gear and becomes gripping

Malcolm Forbes, Herald

A satisfyingly truthful, entertaining and provocative comedy that lays bare Italy's difference, as a nation and as a joyful, warm, ever changeable people, tractable by temperament, immovably stubborn in its traditions

Julian Evans, Daily Telegraph

Few foreigners have written more or better about contemporary Italy than Park, and his familiarity with all things Italian makes for agreeable reading... Often humorous, it is also...a chilling fable about a country that still lives by habits and expectations laid down many decades ago

Caroline Moorehead, Tablet

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