If you’re looking for books based in Italy, and specifically for books set in Siena, pick “A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar”. This book is a heartwarming memoir and a beautiful dedication to the city of Siena.
A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar
A Month in Siena is a gorgeous memoir set in Italy where the author is on a journey of self discovery.
The memoir starts with the author taking a month long trip to Siena. Originally from Libya, the author also often compares the Italian culture and lifestyle to his life in Libya. He especially feels entranced by the Sienese School of Painting (he doesn’t know why!) which he first saw in the National Gallery of London.
He loves the painting of Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Healing of the Man born Blind. Being fascinated by the Madonna dei Francescani, Hisham Matar goes on to say that he often feels the painting was made for him!!
In his month long journey he resorts to taking Italian lessons and also befriends a family from Jordan to feel more at home in the city.
There is nothing like learning a new language to remind you how agile and fluent the eye is and how unwilling and clumsy the tongue can be.Hisham Matar
The author’s love for Siena is compelling and addictive as he evocatively explains it in this memoir.
A Month in Siena is not only a journey of discovery but also a wonderful lesson on Sienese art. Hisham Matar visits La Sala dei Novi in Palazzo Pubblico, La Piazza del Campo and La Pinacoteca Nazionale and feels smitten by all the palazzi and piazze.
Should You Read?? Yes!
A Month in Siena is a marvelous book that captures the true essence of the city of Siena.
The author’s style of writing and the intimacy which he shares about Siena are noteworthy. I now long to re-visit Siena and hope to visit the inside of the Palazzo Pubblico instead of just gazing at it from the Campo.
I think I was living under a rock till I found out about Hisham Matar in 2020. A Pulitzer Prize winner with a calming and honest voice, his writings come highly recommended.
“I believed I could spend a lifetime here in this foreign city where I had, for so long and for some mysterious reason, longed to be.”hisham matar
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Love and Art are an expression of faith.hisham matar