In Still Life With Saints (2020) Angela Paolantonio trades Mulholland Drive for via Fontana to live in the house where her Italian spirit was born, on a magical lane among the women of the village who take her under their wing and into their lives.
Call it magic, serendipity, or maybe a dispatch from a past life Angela is compelled to listen and act on her inner voice. In her sequel to The Ghosts of Italy she is no longer out of her league. Italian folklore rules her days. Still Life With Saints the song of her nights.
"From myths and legends to romance and a form of 'reincarnated soul journey', Still Life With Saints proves even more captivating than its haunting predecessor The Ghosts of Italy. It's a top recommendation as a powerful memoir both for prior readers and newcomers interested in cross-cultural encounters and life changes."
— D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
The Ghosts of Italy is Angela Paolantonio's memoir of how she first discovers and then returns to live in the remote mountain village in Southern Italy where her grandparents were born. She sets out late one November, just after having celebrated Thanksgiving alone on a rooftop in Rome, the spirit of her ancestors guiding her in.
The Ghosts of Italy opens with Angela's daydream of one day owning a stone house on an Italian hillside, sheep grazing below her balcony. With good timing, she ends up buying the very house where her grandmother was born made of fieldstone set by hand by her great-grandfather, with the beautiful view, kept in the family for generations.
"The mingling of a journey to find ancestral roots with a rustic love story, plenty of local color, and excellent descriptions of Italian cuisine, result in an intriguing and passionate memoir."
— Publishers Weekly, Book Life Prize 2020
Angela Paolantonio, whose grandparents landed at Ellis Island, was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. Her love of photography began as she watched her father expose and develop contact sheets on the family kitchen table.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Art History degree from Long Island University, Southampton, New York. She is a writer and photographer, curator, and consultant for art and photography exhibits, books, and events, both in Italy and the U.S.
Angela lives in Calitri, Italy, on via Fontana, in the house where her grandmother was born.
Still Life With Saints released in USA December 2020.
The Ghosts of Italy released in USA August 2016.
Library Journal IAP Commercial Collections Memoirs Program — 2019, 2020
Still Life With Saints (2020) joins The Ghosts of Italy (2016) as a Library Journal curated selection for the Indie Author Project (IAP) Commercial Collections Memoirs Program in the National Library database on Overdrive. Both books are also included in the Indie New York Anthology collection on the Biblioboard Library platform in nonfiction and travel memoirs and the Indie Author Project (IAP) Select New Releases collection in memoir and travel nationally. Check your local listings.
Articles about the author:
The Journey Home, Making a New Life in the Old Country, by Joyce Wadler, The New York Times, Home and Garden cover story, November 22, 2007. The article with a photo slideshow was an immediate international success, picked up by several Italian national newspapers and international news sites, as well as blogs such as Apartment Therapy.
South to Calitri: Home to Where It All Began, The American Magazine, Italy. Author byline. October, 2006.
Five Italian Cookbook Recommendations from an American in Campania, Italy. Author Profile, Reader's Lane, May 2021.
Book Lover's Guide, October, 2021. Still Life With Saints featured in Jane Ubell-Meyer's Book Lover's Guide from Bedside Reading.
Bell'Italia Magazine, April, 2022. The Ghosts of Italy featured in Bell'Italia's profile of Calitri by giornalista and saggista Manuela Piancastelli.
Angela Paolantonio is available for book clubs or other speaking engagements. To contact her, please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Still Life With Saints and The Ghosts of Italy are ideal books to spark discussion in book clubs on a variety of topics, ranging from the differences between American and Italian culture, to how exploring your past, can help you discover your present self.
Questions could include the following:
1. What is the role of women in small town life in Southern Italy?
2. Is it necessary to know about your family’s past, with all of its secrets, in order to become a fully realized person?
3. What would it be like to go back to the country your ancestors came from and live there now?