Synopses & Reviews
One of Italy’s brightest literary lights reinvents travel writing with a seductive, intoxicating celebration of the magical saltwater city
“Venice is a fish,” writes Tiziano Scarpa. “It’s like a vast sole stretched out against the deep. How did this marvelous beast make its way up the Adriatic and fetch up here, of all places?” Paying homage to his native city in a lyrical and evocative style, he guides readers down tiny alleys, over bridges, and through squares, daring us to lose ourselves, forget the guidebooks, and experience Venice as Venetians do.
Venice Is a Fish provides no hotel ratings or museum hours. Instead, in a delightful initiation, Scarpa tells us how to balance while standing on a gondola; where lovers will find the best secret hiding places; the finer points of etiquette and navigation during an agua alta; and how best to defend ourselves from the pitiless beauty of one of the world’s most stimulating cities. Open Venice Is a Fish, and Scarpa’s magnificent images, secret history, and hidden lore unfold like a treasure map of the senses.
"Prolific Venetian writer Scarpa pledges not 'to name a single hotel, restaurant, bar or shop' in this delicate yet supple book, a chain of linked and sensuously translated essays about the one of the world's most unusual and historical cities. He focuses each chapter of his tour through different parts of the body. He begins with the feet before moving up to the legs and heart. The translation renders even the most basic descriptions wonderfully tactile. Only eventually does Scarpa move on to the more obvious sights, sounds, tastes and smells. The main text is just over a hundred pages, but a 40-page coda takes it into the lit-crit realm by way of a 'micro-anthology of Venetian texts' that includes samplings from the author's other works. Scarpa is better known in Italy than America, but that could change with this brief book, which captures Venice as only words and language on the tongue of a native can." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
One of Italy's brightest literary talents reinvents travel writing with a seductive, intoxicating celebration of the magical saltwater city.
About the Author
Tiziano Scarpa is a poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and a winner of the Italia Prize. He is a native Venetian.