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Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008

Under the Tuscan Sun

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With summer still months away, mentally transporting yourself to warmer climes isn’t a bad idea. On Feb. 12, the Friends of the UWM Golda Meir Library hosts a talk and book-signing by author Paul Salsini, followed by a demonstration of Tuscan cooking by chef-instructors Elissa Frank and Simonetta Palazio.

Salsini, a former editor and reporter for the Milwaukee Journal who currently teaches journalism at Marquette University, published his first book in 2006. The Cielo, set in the hills of Tuscany during World War II, is based on the wartime experiences of his relatives.

When battles between partisans and the S.S. intensify, the inhabitants of Sant’Antonio
are forced to flee their homes and find refuge in a disused farmhouse. Alongside the
account of their daily strife—their fear of being raided and the inevitable friction caused
by living in such close confinement—Salsini describes a massacre that took place in a
neighboring village, one that is still mourned by inhabitants of that region. However, the
book also has plenty of uplifting moments, most notably the tantalizing descriptions of
regional cuisine. Following the talk you can watch chefs prepare some traditional Tuscan
dishes and sample the results. The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor
Conference Center of the Golda Meir Library, located at 2311 E. Hartford Ave.
Reservations are required.

Readers can then move from the war-torn Italian countryside to the mean streets of
Brooklyn, N.Y. Felicia Sullivan’s new memoir recounts her life growing up with a drug addicted mother and a string of substitute fathers. In The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here,
she looks back at a life spent trying to outrun her painful past, only to find it catching up
with her after all. Sullivan

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