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Copyright: Susanne Schleyer

Wonderfully revealing about the country and its people – a delight from beginning to end – David Lodge


Born in Manchester in 1954, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since, raising a family of three children. He has written fourteen novels including Europa (shortlisted for the Booker prize), Destiny, Cleaver and, most recently, Sex is Forbidden, all of them published in half a dozen countries.

During the nineties he wrote two, personal non-fiction accounts of life in northern Italy, Italian Neighbours and An Italian Education, books that won him acclaim and popularity for their anthropological wryness. These were complemented, perhaps completed, in 2002 by A Season with Verona, at once a comic microcosm of provincial fandom and a grand overview of Italian life as seen through the business and passion of football. Other non-fiction works include a history of the Medici bank in 15th century Florence, Medici Money and, most recently, a profound narrative reflection on health, illness and meditation, Teach Us to Sit Still. In June 2013, Tim will be publishing a new non-fiction work on Italy, Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo.

During his years in Italy, Tim has translated works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso and Machiavelli and written widely on the subject; his book, Translating Style, which analyses Italian translations of the English modernists, is considered a classic in its field and he currently runs a post-graduate degree in translation at IULM university in Milan.

A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, his many essays are collected in Hell and Back and The Fighter. For the last year or so he has been publishing a series of blogs on writing, reading, translation and the like in the New York Review online. For a more complete list of publications, check the Bibliography.

Meantime, here is Tim’s most recent blog for the NYRB