A Bookollective interview about That Summer in Puglia

‘Today I’m delighted to be celebrating That Summer in Puglia…’

Thank you, Linda, for hosting me on your fabulous blog for today’s stop on the blog tour of That Summer in Puglia!

 

Linda's Book Bag

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I’m a hopeless romantic and I love to travel so I’m thrilled to have That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina on my TBR as I have a feeling it’s going to appeal to both aspects very effectively! Today I’m delighted to be celebrating That Summer in Puglia. by bringing you an interview with Valeria conducted by those lovely folk at Bookollective.

That Summer in Puglia is available for purchase directly from the publisher, Eyewear Books here and on Amazon.

That Summer in Puglia

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Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down. Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him. To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief. Now he’s…

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Authors on Location: interviewed by The Book Trail

Book Trail Authors on Location (1)

I was interviewed by Susan Heads about That Summer in Puglia, for the Authors on Location section of The Book Trail. Susan’s questions were thought-provoking:

  • What made you want to write this story?
  • Why did you decide to place the action where you did?
  • How do you research a novel such as this?
  • Why is the story important – its message?
  • The story of young love is difficult – a kind of modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Which stories of young love like this have you seen?
  • Who would play your characters in a movie of the book?
  • Something you found surprising whilst researching the novel?
  • Can you tell us more about Puglia and your own experiences of it?

What you see on my blog post are just a couple of excerpts. You can find the full text of the interview by clicking here.

Book Trail Authors on Location (2)

Susan Heads’ enthusiastic review of the novel is here, where you’ll find also an online guide The Book Trail has begun creating to the real-life places in That Summer in Puglia.

Credits:

Excerpts courtesy of The Book Trail.

 

Review of That Summer in Puglia on Novel Deelights

“With beautiful descriptions and well-developed rich characters, Valeria Vescina takes us on a moving journey through Tommaso’s life. That Summer in Puglia is a brilliantly written, poignant, thought-provoking character-driven story about young love, loss, grief, family and second chances. An absolutely wonderful debut.”

Thank you, Eva Merckx, for your amazing review of That Summer in Puglia!

Novel Deelights

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina! My thanks to the publisher for my review copy and to Aimee at Bookollective for the invitation to join the tour!

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Author : Valeria Vescina
Title : That Summer in Puglia
Pages : 303
Publisher : Eyewear Publishing
Publication date : March 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down. Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him. To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief. Now he’s being presented with a second chance – but is he ready to pay the price it exacts?

mythoughts

Thirty years…

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That Summer in Puglia blog tour: review by Cathy Johnson

“The emotional power of Tommaso’s story and the effortless, flowing writing of Valeria Vescina is what will stay with me about That Summer in Puglia.”

Thank you, Cathy Johnson, for your detailed, thoughtful review on the What Cathy Read Next book blog.

What Cathy Read Next...

That Summer in Puglia Blog Tour

I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina and sharing my review of this intense and powerful love story.

Thank you to Aimee at Bookollective for inviting me to join the tour.


That Summer in PugliaAbout the Book

Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down.

Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him. To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief.

Now he’s being presented with a second chance – but is he ready to pay the price it exacts?

Format: Paperback (303 pp.)    Publisher:Eyewear Publishing
Published: 1st March 2018        Genre: Fiction, Romance

Purchase Links

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Video: review of That Summer in Puglia

Claire Lyons' blog picture

Today I had the wonderful surprise of a review of That Summer in Puglia by video. It comes from the fabulous literary blogger Claire Lyons and you can watch it on her website, Mrs. Average Evaluates, by clicking here.

Some excerpts from the video-review of the novel:

“So carefully written and incredibly evocative.”

“A very passionate book.”

“Shakespearean mix-ups and misunderstandings and lack of communication…”

“…and it’s about youth, and about parenting, and about loss… It’s a super book.”

“I’d love you to read this. It’s a beautiful, beautiful book.”

I’m grateful to Claire Lyons for her warm, powerful words.

 

Image credit:

Image courtesy of https://www.mrsaverageevaluates.co.uk/

 

Blog Tour and Review of That Summer in Puglia

A beautiful review of That Summer in Puglia. My thanks to reviewer Ann Marie of NYC-based Lit Wit Wine Dine for communicating with such clarity and warmth her perceptive reading of the novel.

Below are images of short extracts of the review. I encourage you to click here to access the full article on this excellent literary blog site.

 

Picture of Liwitwinedine extract 1

Picture of Liwitwinedine extract

And here is another invitation to read the full review on the Lit Wit Wine Dine blog.  

LitWitWineDine instagram post

Image credits:

Images courtesy of https://litwitwinedine.com/

 

Launch of ‘That Summer in Puglia’ at the Italian Cultural Institute, London

Valeria and Rosie
Valeria and Rosie

A presentation of That Summer in Puglia took place on 16 April in the elegant surroundings of the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square. The Institute is a governmental organisation dedicated to promoting knowledge of Italy’s language and culture and to encouraging cultural and scientific collaboration with England and Wales.

My interviewer was Rosie Goldsmith, the acclaimed journalist, presenter, literary critic, Chair of the EBRD Prize, and much more! I’m so grateful to Rosie for her perceptive, engaged and knowledgeable questions.

Our discussion was introduced by Marco Delogu, Director of the Institute, under whose stewardship the organisation has hosted an exciting line-up of events across the arts and sciences. Check out the Institute’s rich schedule of forthcoming and past events here. Guests on the Literature side of the programme have included Roberto Calasso, Sandro Veronesi, Domenico Starnone, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, Ben Okri, Jhumpa Lahiri… to name but a few.

Todd Swift, Director of Eyewear Publishing, spoke briefly about That Summer in Puglia before leaving Rosie and me to discuss the book in detail. Our conversation touched on plot, characters, setting, themes and structure, but also on aspects of various literary traditions (English, yes, but also Italian, German and French) which have flowed into it because of my personal history.

Marco Delogu introducing Valeria and Rosie
Marco Delogu’s introduction
Todd Swift introducing Valeria and Rosie
Todd Swift’s introduction

Many of the questions from the public were focused on the cross-cultural aspects of the novel and on the writing process: why had Puglia inspired me? Why is it an ideal setting for this particular story? Where does my detailed knowledge of Ostuni stem from? Which language do I consider to be my “mother tongue” and why? Having grown up in various countries, what are my views on cultural identity? How long did it take me to develop the plot, and how did I go about it?

Meeting people after the talk was a real joy. It was lovely to discover the variety of emotional resonances the book has for different people. I had been prepared for the fact that each reader will respond to certain aspects of a story more than to others, but I hadn’t expected how warmly people would share profound reflections and anecdotes from their lives. I’m very grateful to them.

Valeria signing books
Signing books
Books display by The Italian Bookshop
Book display at the Institute by The Italian Bookshop

Image credits:

The photos ‘Valeria and Rosie’, ‘Signing books’ and ‘Book display at the Institute by The Italian Bookshop’ are courtesy of Rosie Goldsmith, and reproduced with kind permission.

Rights to the photos ‘Marco Delogu’s introduction’ and ‘Todd Swift’s introduction’ are my own.

 

 

Launch of ‘That Summer in Puglia’ at Waterstones, Kensington

Waterstones, Kensington, hosted the London launch of That Summer in Puglia on 27 March, just four days after the Oxford Literary Festival debut. The launch took the form of a conversation with award-winning author Rachel Seiffert (A Boy in Winter, The Dark Room, The Walk Home), after an introduction by Alexandra Payne, Managing Editor of Eyewear Publishing. I’m very grateful to Rachel for her support: one of my tutors on the Goldsmiths MA in Creative Writing, she saw the novel develop from its early stages.

Her interview centred on three extracts from That Summer in Puglia, to introduce the audience to the principal characters and their relationships as well as to the book’s style and themes. Our discussion flowed naturally from there. The public contributed questions, comments and personal experiences. The book is set in the southern Italian region of Puglia, but its themes are universal: the perils of unresolved grief; the importance of all forms of love; the relationship between love and virtue.

The Waterstones event being only the second on my schedule, it was heartening to spot in the audience a great number of familiar faces: friends, and Goldsmiths MA faculty and colleagues. I’m so grateful to them all for sustaining me during the process of writing the novel. The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr. Marie-Thérèse Rossi, and Cllrs. Addenbrooke and Pascall attended in their official capacity, as a gesture of civic gratitude: I was touched, as I’ve taught creative writing workshops at Kensington Central Library since 2013 on a pro bono basis, but hadn’t expected special thanks. I’m grateful also to Waterstones, and especially to its Kensington events manager, for the organisation and publicity. As a debut author, seeing the shop window filled with my books felt slightly surreal.

The next London presentation of That Summer in Puglia will be at the Italian Cultural Institute on 16 April at 7 pm. The interviewer will be Rosie Goldsmith, the acclaimed journalist, presenter, literary critic and Chair of the EBRD Prize.

Press enquiries: please email publicist Helen McCusker, Booked PR (tel: +44 (0) 7951 078388), or you may contact me here.

Foreign rights enquiries: please contact Eyewear Publishing.

Image credits:

All rights reserved.

 

Oxford Literary Festival debut of ‘That Summer in Puglia’

Valeria Vescina and Teresa Franco
Author Valeria Vescina and interviewer Teresa Franco

That Summer in Puglia had its debut at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on 23 March. This was Italian Day, when the Festival – in co-operation with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute – annually showcases Italian culture. My interviewer at St. Cross College was University of Oxford academic and Il Sole 24 Ore Arts & Culture contributor Teresa Franco – sensitive, knowledgeable and insightful. We were introduced by poet Todd Swift, Director of Eyewear Publishing. The audience was large, warm and engaging.

The day closed with a memorable Italian Gala Dinner at Lincoln College, hosted by the Director of the Festival, the College Rector and the Italian Embassy. The latter was represented by Minister Counselor Vincenzo Celeste and Head of Culture Federico Bianchi, both of whom had attended the launch of That Summer in Puglia, an honour for which I’m grateful. The Gala Dinner menu was devised by acclaimed chef and cookery writer Eleonora Galasso.

I wrote That Summer in Puglia in English, my literary mother tongue, but the story is set mostly in Puglia (southern Italy), where I was born and grew up. I was educated in Switzerland and the UK, and today live and work in London, but I’ve spent the holidays with family in my native region every year.

Puglia offered an ideal setting: its visible layers of history are integral to the story, a man’s excavation of his past. The region’s distinctive culture provided a framework for testing the characters and exploring the main themes: the role of all forms of love in human life; and the relationship between love and virtue.

I also hope the novel will help readers discover the cultural richness and variety within Southern Italy, by immersing them in an authentically Apulian atmosphere. In Puglia, traces of the past surface in unexpected ways: from the art of its early, Hellenised Illyrian settlers, to Byzantine paintings, Norman churches, and the palaces and fortifications built under the Anjou, the Aragonese, the Venetians and the Spanish. The region’s cuisine and inhabitants bear living testimony to the passage of all these cultures.

The moment of That Summer in Puglia’s debut is also one of gratitude for and to all those who have sustained me throughout the process of writing the novel: family, friends, colleagues, teachers… and the authors and publisher who have encouraged and championed my work. To you all, my deepest thanks. A book about the importance of all forms of love would not have been possible without you.

Press enquiries: please email publicist Helen McCusker, Booked PR (tel: +44 (0) 7951 078388), or you may contact me here.

Foreign rights enquiries: please contact Eyewear Publishing.

 

Image credits:

Julia Warszewski, all rights reserved.