Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food Wine and Love in Italy Drinks & Beverages Wine Food & Wine Michael Tucker Atlantic Monthly Press First Edition first Printing editionJun 21
In this lighthearted memoir by television’s former L.A. Law star, Tucker delve graciously into the rich lifestyle, cuisine and local wine of central Italy when he and his wife, actress Jill Eikenberry, make an impromptu purchase of a 350-year-old stone cottage in the Umbrian countryside. The Tuckers break away from the Bay Area to acquaint themselves with the Rustico, their new second home. Despite speaking limited Italian, they quickly befriend their expatriate and Italian neighbors and with them set out to celebrate the regional cuisine found in local trattorias, tavernas and the aromatic kitchens of new acquaintances. Language gaffes and the occasional couple’s spat is to be expected, as the Tuckers begin to re-evaluate their lives. The simplicity and heartiness of Umbria begins to feel more like home for them, and little by little the Tuckers let go of their more career-ambitious lives in the U.S. Jill’s revitalization of her theater career in New York becomes as much of an accomplishment as her taking art classes with 16 non-English-speaking Italian housewives. Tucker simply appreciates his relationships forged with Gloria, the owner of the local orta-frutta shop and the town’s butchers. Guileless narrative intertwined with generous descriptions of Italian fare make Tucker’s food memoir and travelogue a satisfying look into the good life. (July)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Driving through Italy, television actors Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry and her young Korean^B assistant are seduced by the stately, relaxed pace of Italian life. Swapping their dream of a house in Provence for an Italian venue, they find a friend’s home for sale near Spoleto, and Tucker quickly seals a deal. The delights of Italian food awaken Tucker’s latent epicure. His determined compulsion to savor every edible raised on local farms ultimately obliges him to spend some serious hours at the local gym. Returning for a time to their California home, they want to share their love of Italian food by hosting a dinner party, but egocentric American friends can’t even gracefully accept this generous invitation, citing a catalog of dietary restrictions and food fears. Foodies will slaver and bristle with envy at the surfeit of pungently fresh truffles that appear at seemingly every meal. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved
The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-fifty-year-old rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For the Tuckers, it was literally love at first sight, and the couple purchased the house without testing the water pressure or checking for signs of termites. Shedding the vestiges of their American life, Michael and Jill endeavored to learn the language, understand the nuances of Italian culture, and build a home in this new chapter of their lives. Both a celebration of a good marriage and a careful study of the nature of home, Living in a Foreign Language is a gorgeous, organic travelogue written with an epicureans delight in detail and a gourmands appreciation for all things fine.Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy
A Thousand Days in Venice
On a visit to Venice, de Blasi meets a local bank manager who falls in love with her at first sight. After “the stranger” (as she coyly calls him throughout the book) pursues her back to her home in St. Louis, Mo., she agrees to return to Italy and marry him, leaving behind her grown children and her job as chef and partner in a cafe. Although the banker, Fernando, lives in a bunkerlike postwar condominium on the Lido rather than the Venetian palazzo of her dreams, and some of his European ideas about women clash with her American temperament, the relationship works. She survives his criticism of her housekeeping and his displeasure at her insistence on remaining a serious cook (in modern Italy “No one bakes bread or dolci or makes pasta at home,” he tells her), and they marry. Then one day Fernando surprises her by announcing that he is quitting his job at the bank where he has worked for 26 years. They leave Venice, he espouses her interest in food and they now direct gastronomic tours of Tuscany and Umbria. De Blasi’s breathless descriptions of her improbable love affair can be cloying, but she makes up for these excesses with her enchanting accounts of Venice, especially of the markets at the Rialto. She conjures up vivid images of produce “so sumptuously laid as to be awaiting Caravaggio” and picturesque scenes of the vendors, such as the egg lady who keeps her hens under her table, collects the eggs as soon as they are laid and wraps each one in newspaper, “twisting both ends so that the confection looks like a rustic prize for a child’s party.” In a final section entitled “Food for a Stranger,” de Blasi (Regional Foods of Northern Italy) includes recipes for a few of the dishes with which she charmed the stranger.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
He saw her across the Piazza San Marco and fell in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice caf a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; and she, a divorced American chef, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thinks she is incapable of intimacy, that her heart has lost its capacity for romantic love. But within months of their first meeting, she has packed up her house in St. Louis to marry Fernandothe stranger, as she calls himand live in that achingly lovely city in which they met.
Vibrant but vaguely baffled by this bold move, Marlena is overwhelmed by the sheer foreignness of her new home, its rituals and customs. But there are delicious moments when Venice opens up its arms to Marlena. She cooks an American feast of Mississippi caviar, cornbread, and fried onions for the locals . . . and takes the tango she learned in the Poughkeepsie middle school gym to a candlelit trattora near the Rialto Bridge. All the while, she and Fernando, two disparate souls, build an extraordinary life of passion and possibility.
Featuring Marlenas own incredible recipes, A Thousand Days in Venice is the enchanting true story of a woman who opens her heartand falls in love with both a man and a city.