In her new memoir chef Lidia Bastianich recalls growing up on a family farm, escaping the communists, becoming a refugee and immigrating to the U.S., starting her own restaurant in Queens, and getting her own cooking show.
It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime.
Jess Walter's latest novel spans decades and traverses the Atlantic to create a kaleidoscopic collection of "beautiful ruins." Characters include a hotelier, a young script reader and real-life movie star Richard Burton. NPR's Maureen Corrigan says the book is a "literary miracle."
He won an Academy Award for his performance as John Laroche in the film Adaptation. His latest project is the HBO film My House in Umbria, starring Maggie Smith, which debuts May 25, 2003. Cooper is also in the soon-to-be-released Seabiscuit, and he had roles in American Beauty, The Bourne Identity, and The Horse Whisperer.
Novelist, essayist, and reporter Barbara Grizutti Harrison. Her new book is called "Italian Days." It's a chronicle of her travels through Italy, but it's also more introspective, influenced by her parents Italian heritage and her conversion to Catholicism after a childhood spent in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Book critic John Leonard reviews the new detective novel Ratking, by Michael Dibdin. Leonard says the narrative, set in Italy, keeps the mystery genre alive by confronting bourgeois life and corrupt politics.