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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2019
  • 978-1-7334155-1-4
  • 418 pages
  • $9.99
Misty Evans
Author
Naked (in Italy)
M.E. Evans, author
At twenty-seven years old, M. E. Evans had just graduated from college, twice, and still had no idea what to do with her life besides frequent strip clubs and fantasize about being a woman known for a sort of vague, unnamed success. But when her plans to become a better version of herself are derailed by the devastating loss of her brother, she moves to Italy no longer for personal growth but for self-preservation. Unfortunately, life in Italy isn’t for everyone. In the irreverent and hilarious Naked (in Italy), Evans tells the story of how she came to Florence for its rolling green hills, cheap Chianti, and sexy Italian men only to realize that personal growth isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes it’s falling down, agoraphobia, and a mother-in-law who won’t let go of your thongs. Gritty, poignant, and howlingly funny, Evans’ memoir strips bare the myth of la dolce vita and shows us that unfortunately no matter where you go, there you are.
Reviews
Blogger and humor writer Evans writes brilliantly about traveling around the world to find herself in this candid memoir. Evans regularly felt like an outsider as a child. She was raised in Utah as a non-Mormon, with an American mother and a Persian immigrant father who separated when she was young. Depressed and jaded after the unexpected death of her younger brother, she moved to Florence, Italy, to attend art school and start anew. She ran into self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and difficult professors but also found inspiration and lifelong companions. When she began dating an Italian man with demanding parents, her newfound confidence and vulnerability were put to the test.

In a series of vignettes, Evans describes her many embarrassing moments and triumphs with vivid emotional detail. Readers will cringe when she’s the only student with nothing to present on her first day of art school, and they’ll cheer with admiration when she drunkenly asks out her future boyfriend while standing on a table at her favorite bar. Most notably, Evans shares lessons that are hard to learn growing up in dysfunctional families: People who love each other can fight without it being the end of the world, and there are some people worth trusting.

Evans is unapologetically sexual and feminist. She paints vaginas for her art program, uses alcohol as a coping mechanism, and remains defiantly herself while learning how to mature. Her European adventure is characteristic of many a middle-class American’s self-discovery journey, but she keeps the reader turning the pages thanks to her descriptive writing (the Tuscan feasts are mouthwatering) and willingness to chronicle her own mental illness. Though it takes place (mostly) in Italy, this memoir is less about travel and culture clash and more about establishing personal identity and believing in relationships. Sensual, entertaining, and raw, Evans’s work is is a testament to global, complicated, grown-up love.

Takeaway: Evans’s raunchy feminist memoir of romance and travel will appeal to anyone who feels both jaded and hopeful and longs for a change of scene.

Great for fans of Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, Sally Rooney, Samantha Irby.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-

Florence News

"Naked (in Italy) is a great read. It certainly has all of the wit and hilarious irony that M. E. has become semi-famous for from her blog Surviving in Italy, which has been entertaining English speakers who live in Italy, who formerly lived in Italy, or who dream of living in Italy, for some years now. But Naked (in Italy) also bares M. E.’s sentimental and vulnerable sides, charting not only the funny awkwardness but also the scary pitfalls of negotiating a new culture, as well as the inner struggles we all face to stay sane amid change, personal tragedy, and while we’re making all of those big life decisions like whom to marry and where to live. M. E. is expert at exposing the silliness and severity of life’s heaviest and most absurd challenges, I laughed out loud a hundred times and I finished the book in tears of joy."–Lee Foust, Florence News

Indie Reader

"Fans of revealing and rebellious personal narratives will find a familiar friend in Evans’ open no-holds-barred style. Set against the backdrop of Florence, Capri, Rome and the Italian countryside, this is an exciting travel-memoir from a unique perspective. Through her years in Italy, Evans finds love, finds herself and shares this journey with readers in a sometimes messy, sometimes magical, always singular style.

NAKED (IN ITALY) in an engaging memoir about family trauma, artistic exploration and romance in a foreign country and author M.E. Evans’ voice is wry, rebellious and vulnerable, giving readers an exotic, exuberant front row seat to her wild graduate school adventures abroad."

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2019
  • 978-1-7334155-1-4
  • 418 pages
  • $9.99

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