Monday, 16 April 2018, 7 pm
Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX – details here
Free entry. Please confirm your attendance on Eventbrite.
Fresh from its launch at the Oxford Literary Festival comes this compelling novel set in Southern Italy and London. That Summer in Puglia (Eyewear Publishing) is a tale about the legacy of grief and the power of love in its many forms. Puglia provides an ideal setting: its layers of history are integral to the story.
Born and brought up in Italy, educated in four countries, and writing in English, Valeria Vescina lives and works in London as an author, critic and teacher. Her writing seamlessly integrates literary traditions from across Europe – from Italy, Britain, Germany and France, amongst others – reflecting her multicultural, multilingual background. Who better than arts & culture journalist and broadcaster Rosie Goldsmith, founder of the European Literature Network, to interview her? Join them for a discussion of the novel and of the literary influences behind it. Questions about cultural identity in Brexit Britain might be allowed…
This is an enchanting slow burn of a novel; a notable debut. Vescina’s voice is admirably clear, her descriptions lucid, and her characters are human to the core. – Rachel Seiffert
Very beautiful, surprising and evocative. – Simonetta Agnello Hornby
That Summer In Puglia is rich in insights into human emotions. It’s the tale of the disastrous course even a great love can take if bitterness is allowed to prevail and chances of forgiveness are rejected, but also of the miracles it can work if profoundly experienced and expressed. Valeria Vescina’s style has the fluidity of the great European novelists. Her characterisations are at once vivid and poetic, and the plot ever-surprising. Finally, here is the discovery through literature of Puglia, with its remarkable synthesis of Mediterranean history and cultures – and how appropriate, as this is, deep down, Greek tragedy. – Edoardo Winspeare