Once the hub of the Mediterranean, Calabria now dangles, largely ignored, at the bottom of the Italian boot, struggling for survival, acceptance and a place in modern Italy and the world. Little-known even to Italians outside the nefarious activities of its ‘Ndrangheta mafia organization, Calabria allures with its simplicity and rewards with an underlying complexity, as in savoring an artisanal cheese, appreciating an ancient Greek masterwork or interpreting a particularly expressive phrase in the local dialect.
Calabria: The Other Italy paints a compelling picture of contemporary Calabria and Southern Italy, weaving observation, personal anecdote, salient historical information and social commentary into a nonfiction narrative that combines travelogue with an exploration of everyday life and culture. At times humorous, at others poignant, this engaging work portrays the joys and challenges of the “other Italy.”
Calabria: The Other Italy is part history, part travel guide, part memoir -- and as informed and informative as it is engaging and entertaining, making it very highly recommended for community and academic library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for non-specialist general readers with an interest in this inherently fascinating provincial section of Italy. (Bookwatch)
Calabria: The Other Italy is a phenomenal book that captures the heart and soul of one of Italy’s most obscure and attractive regions. PRIMO enthusiastically recommends the book to all Italian Americans and those who have a passion for Italy.
After numerous visits to Italy, Haid found herself increasingly enamored with the country, so she decided to move to Locri, Calabria, to teach English and fully immerse herself in Italian culture. Haid’s book recounts her four-year stint in Calabria with an intoxicating blend of humor, joy, and reverence for this area in Italy’s deep south. The book reads like a travelogue, with long descriptions of train rides and encounters, but it also serves as a travel guide, with many facts and figures integrated into the narrative. Haid does not shy away from mentioning the negatives of Calabrian culture. Much of these are approached with humor, with the exception of the more disturbing aspects of the local community, such as the power of omertà (the code or conspiracy silence that protects outlaws) and the influence of the Calabrian mafia over local politics and other community affairs. The chapters about criminal activity are broken up into two sections and separated by other chapters, and this deft organization preserves the predominantly upbeat and inspiring mood of tour into a lesser-known part of Italy. (BookLife)
American author Karen Haid was awarded the Premio Internazionale Calabria 2015 in the 53rd year of the award. Haid was distinguished for her recently published work Calabria: The Other Italy, a nonfiction book that explores daily life, culture, history, the arts food, society and tourism of Calabria, the region in the toe of the Italian boot. The Premio Internazionale Calabria (International Calabria Prize) is an international award given by the Circolo di Cultura e di Relazioni Internazionali (Society of Culture and International Relations) in Villa San Giovanni, Calabria, Italy. The prize promotes cultural valorization and raising awareness of Calabria and Southern Italy.
A brief video preview of CALABRIA: THE OTHER ITALY, a non-fiction book that explores the culture of a beautiful region in Southern Italy.