Saturday, April 18, 2015

Win a copy of One Summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino

This competition is now close, but you can still win a copy of the book here, just leave a comment by 30 April.

Meet the author:

AN HOUR WITH NICKY PELLEGRINO
DATE: WEDNESDAY 06 MAY
TIME: 6.00 – 7.00PM
VENUE: THE LEYS INSTITUTE LIBRARY, 20 ST MARYS BAY, PONSONBY 

Light refreshments provided. Free event but bookings are essential. Books will be available courtesy of Paper Plus.
Please RSVP: At Leys Institute Library or phone 09 374 1315







Dante Auckland's newsletter editor Stefania Perrotta interviews Nicky Pellegrino: 


           How “Italian” do you feel? Which parts of your personality, character and tastes (culinary preferences aside) do you feel are typically Italian?



My father is from southern Italy - from a town not far from Napoli - and so I think I share some of his excitable, passionate, stormy nature. Family is important to me like it is for most Italians and I love everyone to be gathered round a table eating together and having "shouty" conversations. I'm also quite fond of hooting my car horn when people are driving badly. No one ever seems to hoot here in NZ (why bother having a car horn if you're not going to use it?)


        The characters in your novels are Italians living in Italy – sometimes in the UK. Now that you have been living in NZ for a while, can you imagine writing also about Italians in NZ?

For some reason I find it easier to write about places when I don't live in them. I've spent quite a lot of time in Italy over the years - particularly during my childhood - and being away from it sort of helps me distill its essence a little more. The same goes for London where many of my novels are also partly set. So no plans to set any stories in New Zealand at the moment.

        Do you think Italian and NZ cultures have things in common, and if so, which ones?

Love of food and the outdoors plus a passion for sport would be things we have in common. The part of Italian culture I wish we would adopt is the passeggiata - that evening stroll when you stop and chat to friends and neighbours and perhaps pause for a drink and some little snacks. I think it's so civilsed. Here we tend to socialise inside our homes more and I like that idea of being out in the world and part of a community.

        What is your favourite restaurant in Italy and can you recommend some hidden gems there that are off the beaten track?.

My favourite place in Italy to eat is my aunt Peppina's place. She is an incredible cook and it wouldn't matter if two people turned up for dinner or 20, she would still produce something beautiful and bursting with flavour. Last time I was there though was to research my new novel One Summer In Venice and I had a couple of weeks alone in Venice, visting bacari and  living on cicchetti and tasting local specialities like bigoli in salsa and sarde en soar. My favourite cicchetti places were All'Arco and Pronto Pesce near the Rialto market. And Alla Vedova which is famous for its polpette. There's a great guide to eating out there called Venice Osterie by Michela Scibilia that I used a lot to find some of the quieter, off-the-beaten track places.

 About the book 

The incredible Nicky Pellegrino returns with yet another delicious novel, this time immersing the reader in Venice. One Summer in Venice (ISBN 9781409159452) is set in the tangled maze of canals, bridges and piazzas that make up this romantic Italian city. Addolorata Martinelli sets herself a goal to find the ten things that could be the key to her happiness. Nicky was born in Liverpool but spent summers staying with her family in Italy. It is her memory of those summers that flavour her stories: the passions, the feuds but most of all the foods. Now living in New Zealand, working as a journalist, Nicky hordes her holidays so that she and her husband can return to see family, eat mozzarella and research her books.

Nicky will be doing two evening events at the Leys Institute in Ponsonby. Don’t miss the opportunity to see her in person talk about One Summer in Venice.

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