Venice for Lovers is a memorable collaboration by two fine stylists who have fashioned their own personal homages to Venice, one with a novella, the other with a personal essay. Every year for all the thirty they have been married, Begley and Muhlstein have escaped to Venice to write. In her contribution to the book, Muhlstein charmingly describes how she and her husband dine at the same restaurant every night for years on end, and how becoming friends with restaurateurs has been an unsurpassed means of getting to know the city and its inhabitants, far from the tourists in San Marco Square. In his short novella, Begley writes a story of falling in love with--and in--Venice. His twenty-year-old protagonist, enamored with an older, far worldlier woman of twenty-seven, is lured by her to the City of Water, only to be unceremoniously dumped and left to fend for himself after a brief rendezvous. But he discovers a lasting love for Venice itself--not an uncommon romance, as Begley's brilliant literary essay on the city's place within world literature demonstrates: Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Mann were all illustrious predecessors.
A love letter to an ancient Italian city by the sea . . . Both writers are exemplars of the windowpane school of prose: We are able to visualize their subjects as soon as we take in their sentences.”Mindy Aloff, The Washington Post
Refreshing and delightful. Begley and Muhlstein manage to combine in one volume the innocent ardor of a first-time visitor and the seasoned appreciation of longtime lovers.”Don George, National Geographic Traveler
This is an unconventional introduction that captures the spirit both of La Serenissima and of what Thomas Mann called the slightly foul odor of sea and swamp.”. . . fresh insights both from the writers who are quoted and the authors themselves: and the novella is a gem.”Andrew Taylor, Times Literary Supplement (UK)
A charming collection of writing and memoirs of the most romantic of cities.”The Daily Express (UK)