Venetian Stories

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Pantheon Books, 2003 - Fiction - 292 pages
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In these twelve wry and fascinating stories Jane Turner Rylands has brilliantly evoked the hidden and day-to-day life of one of Europe's most mysterious cities. The thoroughly engaging characters who are the focus of these stories are from different backgrounds and various Venetian neighborhoods, but their lives—and the stories—overlap and intersect in surprising and playful ways. We meet such workers as a postman, a gondolier, and a mason; and from a different circle, an architect, the mayor, a visitor (an American decorator), a contessa, a baronessa, and an English lord. There are avenging ghosts, a deceitful husband, and a fiendish mother among these.

Through Rylands' eyes we observe the amusing quirks and habits of the natives as well as of outsiders who are absorbed into this very closed society with all its rivalries, petty jealousies, and hierarchies. For all its elegance and sophistication, Venice comes to life as a small town. Suddenly, we have a sense of what is happening behind the seemingly inscrutable Gothic fašades of those timeworn palazzos lining the Grand Canal.

These stories draw us into a complex, scheming, almost farcical society, but the poignant subtext is the profound fragility of a city with an uncertain future. Jane Turner Rylands has written a book that is as memorable and luminous as Venice itself.

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VENETIAN STORIES

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Longtime ex-pat Rylands delivers a charming portrait of Venice in a dozen stories that view the city from the perspectives of both natives and outsiders.There's always a lilting tone of history here ... Read full review

Venetian stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The cast of characters in these dozen stories all live in Venice, but they come from different backgrounds and neighborhoods. There is the haut monde of contessas, baronesses, and lords, a closed ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
19
Section 3
23
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Jane Turner Rylands grew up in Ohio and graduated from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She taught English for the University of Maryland's European division for seventeen years. She has lived in Venice since 1973 and is married to Philip Rylands, the director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

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