Safe In Your Head
An epic story about three generations of Italian women haunted by the shadows of World War II. With love, loyalty, and with faith in magic, a widow and her daughter attempt to survive poverty and the political chaos that seizes their country in spasms through the 1970s, until the violence of the Years of Lead forces them to move across the Atlantic. In America, they attempt to rebuild their lives, but the widow’s granddaughter discovers that safety is an illusion, and no one can outrun the long reach of war. Includes traditional recipes and magic spells.
Advanced Praise for Safe In Your Head
“Valeri has created a deft and delicate collection of short stories, illustrating how the ramifications of an Italian man’s political decision at the outbreak of World War II rippled down the generations of his family. Valeri is an artist of prose. Like most retelling of family stories, her tales weave forward and backward in time, shaping characters who are desperate to raise above their circumstance, but incapable of escaping their history.
Her words can be dreamy and sentimental as memory and other times hard and relentless as a newspaper account. On her whole, her collection illustrates that history is a mystery. All we can do is work with the fragments of stories passed down and probe our own psychological wounds to learn what happened in the mind of an Italian soldier eighty years before.” Susanna Ives
“Laura Valeri’s prose is so intimate, so full-hearted, that it’s as if she’s whispering in the reader’s ear, telling a story full of history and family and love. Most remarkably, the story told is breathless in pace and epic in scope, and at the same time stays faithful to the beating hearts of the characters.” Susanna Daniels
“Laura Valeri unfolds before us what one family brings from Italy: their recipes, spells, and, most of all, the pungent, passionate stories that will haunt what they find in America. Individually enchanting, these tales entwine into a novel in which conflicting desires for justice, opportunity, safety, and love twist through time like fate, like DNA.” Lynne Barrett
“Readers will fall in love with her charming Italian and Italian-American characters whose lives, like our own, contain hope, longing, and just enough magic to to propel them ever forward, ever glancing back.” Maryanne Sthal
A Stephen F. Austin University Press Publication
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