DANDELIONS - Thea Lenarduzzi in conversation with Kaye Mitchell at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester, 29 September 2022, from £3.00 - Book now
Thea Lenarduzzi reads from her debut book Dandelions, winner of the 2020 Fitzcarraldo Editions / Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize, and talks about it to the University of Manchester Centre for New Writing’s co-director Kaye Mitchell.
Rich in folk legends, food, art, politics and literature, much of Dandelions is set in Italy, with nods to Manchester (and also Sheffield), Thea Lenarduzzi’s father having grown up in Longsight in the 1950s (her mum is Liverpudlian).
Dandelions is described as “a family memoir and social history about two women piecing together themselves and each other from the fragments of four generations’ worth of migration between Italy and England, and the stories scattered along the way”. “Where, or what, is home? What has it meant, historically and personally, to be ‘Italian’ or ‘English’,” asks the book. Rich in folk legends, food, art, politics and literature, much of Dandelions is set in Italy, with nods to Manchester (and also Sheffield), Thea Lenarduzzi’s father having grown up in Longsight in the 1950s (her mum is Liverpudlian).
From the book blurb: “At the heart of this book brimming with the lives of remarkable and apparently unremarkable people is Thea’s grandmother Dirce, a former seamstress, who, now approaching 100, is a repository of tales that are by turns unpredictable, unreliable, significant. And that lead us deeper. There’s the one about Mussolini’s modern Icarus who crashed into the murk of a lake; about the Manchester factory worker who wanted only to be seen; about the shadowy demon who visits in your sleep; and the monument to a murdered politician that, when it rains, runs the colour of blood. Through the journeys of Dirce and her relatives, from the Friuli to Sheffield and Manchester and back again, a different kind of history emerges, in which self and place are warp and weft, tightly woven, with threads left hazardously trailing.”
Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, “Dandelions heralds the arrival of an exceptional writer: bold, joyful and wise.” Thea Lenarduzzi was born in 1986 in a town called Erba (‘grass’) and raised in northern Italy, moving to the UK in 2004. She lives in East Sussex and works as a writer, editor and broadcaster, and commissioning editor and podcast host at the Times Literary Supplement.
Doors: 6.30pm, event starts: 6.45pm. Tickets are £3 or free when pre-ordering a copy of the book.
DANDELIONS - Thea Lenarduzzi in conversation with Kaye Mitchell at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester