Author(s): Donna Leon
Donna Leon's wildly popular novels starring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti have been praised for their intricate plots and gripping narratives, but also for their insight into the culture, politics, family life, and history of Venice, one of the world's most treasured cities and Leon's home for over thirty years. Leon's books open the doors to a private Venice, beyond the reach of the millions of international travelers who delight in the city's canals, food, and art every year.
My Venice and Other Essays is a treat for lovers of Italy and La Serenissima. Collected here are over fifty funny, charming, passionate, and insightful essays that range from battles over garbage in the canals to troubles with rehabbing Venetian real estate. Leon shares episodes from her life in Venice, explores her love of opera, and recounts tales from in and around her country house in the mountains. With poignant observations and humor, she also explores her family history and former life in New Jersey, and the idea of the Italian man.
"Leon . . . takes both loving and jaundiced looks at Italy and the United States, music, men and many other subjects in "My Venice.""--"New York Times Book Review" "Entertaining [and] unapologetically opinionated."--"New York Times" "Cheerfully opinionated. . . . An intriguing glimpse at the strong views of an exceptionally interesting and entertaining novelist."--"Seattle Times" "So keenly observed that they almost make me homesick for a city I've only visited . . . [Leon's essays] have the kind of friendly intimacy of a letter from a friend far away"--"Boston Globe" "Donna Leon is . . . a practiced writer of sharply observed commentary. . . . Leon clearly loves her adopted city, but she is not so pie-eyed as to overlook--and report to often hilarious effect--its idiosyncratic imperfections. . . . Savoring these short and engaging pieces is akin to sharing a latte at a Venetian cafe with an entertaining, opinionated, intelligent friend."--"BookPage" "Well known as the author of the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery novels, American Donna Leon has lived in Venice for 30 years and knows its vagaries and delights in and out. The essays in "My Venice" are filled with her pointed observations, humor and insight. . . . Leon's great intelligence and wit come through in every one. . . . A lively collection."--Shelf Awareness "Leon . . . is literate, witty and contentious, with a ready sense of humor and an eye for the absurd. I'd love to have a cappuccino with her."--Kathy Weissman, Bookreporter.com "Engaging. . . . Leon muses, reminisces, and often complains about her Italian home of more than 30 years. . . . But in the titular essay, it's clear also that she loves the community feel and unforced camaraderie of her neighborhood."--"Publishers Weekly" "[Leon] never fails to explore the periphery of her topic, deepening her theme and giving it context and nuance."--"Booklist" "Absorbing. . . . "My Venice and Other Essays" . . . provide[s] morsels of wit and sharp observations."--"New York Journal of Books"
Donna Leon is the author of the internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.