Falling Palace: A Romance of Naples
A memorable portrait of the volcanic city from an American writer who has lost his heart to the place and to a mysterious Neapolitan woman. Weaving the intrigue of a romance with the haunting evocation of a legendary metropolis, Dan Hofstadter brilliantly reveals Naples to us. He is our guide to its decaying architectural beauty - the falling palace of his dreams - and the theatre of the city's everyday life; to the ancient festivals that regularly overtake the jumbled streets; the conversations in dialect that start in the cafes and continue into the night; the countless curio shops where treasures mingle with kitsch. And he brings to life on the page his Neapolitan friends, people whose gestures and superstitions seem as old as Vesuvius: chief among them, Benedetta, the object of his fascination and affections, and, like her home city, at once inviting and unfathomable. Hofstadter's Naples is an amalgam of equivocal beauty, betrayals and secrets, a wounded city whose commonplace wonders are superbly conjured by this rich and lyrical book.