August 17, 2014 7:48 AM

‘My Two Italies’ captures the conflicts of life in contemporary Italy

How Joseph Luzzi escaped the heartbreak of inheriting his parents’ Italy forms the core of “My Two Italies,” a brilliant tour de force that is part memoir, part cultural criticism and part paean to the magical city of Florence. A narrative at once elegant and elegiac, the book encapsulates the essence of contemporary Italy – sordid politics, organized crime, the bella figura – in a fast-paced prose that rushes by much too quickly.

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