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Four Seasons in Rome

By Anthony Doerr
Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land, a "dazzling" (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) memoir about art and adventures in Rome.

Anthony Doerr has received many awards—from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins.

Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats—the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.

This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft—the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

12 Reviews

“Lyrically beautiful. It is fascinating to see the same wonder at the beauty and mysteries of the world that imbued even the most tragical and shocking scenes of All the Light We Cannot See here in the author discovering Italy. Combined with his tender love for his wife and twin sons and all the glorious senses of Italy, described in a breathtakingly poetical manner, the book has become one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.”
“#MMD Flight Pick for March 2019 Also • Recommended in ModernMrsDarcy.com 2021 Fall Book Preview #MMDBookClub Well, I just took an incredible trip to Rome, compliments of a memoir by Anthony Doerr. His vivid voice made me see the sights, smell the food and flora, and experience the feeling of being an American traveler in a foreign land. Doerr wrote this book seven years before All The Light We Cannot See. Favoloso!”
“With touches of humor and philosophical meanderings traced through ribbons of poetic prose, Anthony Doerr succeeds in transforming a simple, year-long journal into an art form. Even his accounts of failed trips to the supermercato deserve to be framed and displayed. He writes about Rome and its people, interweaving his own experiences with facts and ideologies from the city's long history in a way that feels like an enthralling museum tour at one point and like a candle-lit exploration of a forgotten series of catacombs the next. He writes about the trials and joys of becoming a new parent, from enduring sleepless nights to witnessing the fresh-eyed wonder with which his boys encounter palm fronds and marble floors. Lastly, he writes about writing—the battle of forcing words onto a page when the world around you is a kaleidoscope of distractions—and the "vanishing act" of finally succumbing to the inner muse and losing yourself in the creative world of stories, where authors and characters both past and present mingle together. As the end of Doerr's scholarship in Rome draws near, he reflects, "A year is an infinity of perceptions: not just the shapes of starlings and the death of the pope and watching our sons learn to walk, but the smell of roasting meat in an alley, the dark brown eyes of a beggar on a church step, a single dandelion seed settling soundlessly onto the habit of a nun who is riding the tram. This year has been composed of a trillion such moments; they flood the memory . . . [and] spill over the edges of journal entries" (191).”

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of the New York Times bestselling Cloud Cuckoo Land, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

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