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June 16, 2019 | Rome, Italy

Saving Rome

By | 2018-03-21T18:27:12+02:00 July 1st, 2006|Italy and Italians|

By Megan K. Williams

Second Story Press, 2006. 224 pages.

The Rome-based Williams, like the Alice Munro she so admires, is a meticulous observer who mines import from the details of daily life. In “Home,” a tense encounter with a Carabiniere is all menace but veers away from the predictable; in “Pets,” a tender masterpiece, a hamster — of all creatures — functions as a cultural bridge; “Motion” and “Let the Games Begin” tack around the fragile edges of relationships, while “Saving Rome for Someone Special” wrestles with the complications of superficiality.

Superficial is what Williams is not. Each of these stories is a small gale in a passing cloud. Williams’ stories excavate all that’s unsaid about living in Rome. She doesn’t so much save the city — an obvious irony — as demonstrate the frailty of its protocols, giving each of her characters believable flaws and desires. This is a stunningly accomplished first collection.

About the Author:

Christopher P. Winner
Christopher P. Winner, founder of "The American," was born in Paris. He executive editor of "The Prague Post" and the London-based European correspondent for "USA Today." A U.S. citizen raided in Washington, D.C., the Rome-based Winner writes autobiographical essays as well as cultural and political commentary.

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