By turns humorous, nostalgic, and spellbinding, Venice for Lovers
is a memorable collaboration by two fine stylists who have fashioned their own personal homages to Venice
, one with a novella, the other with a personal essay. In each, Louis Begley and Anka Muhlstein offer a view of Venice
that goes beyond the canals and cobblestones to provide a very private view of a place that will forever inspire dreams of love and passion.
Every year for all the thirty they have been married, Begley and Muhlstein have escaped to Venice
to write. In her contribution to the book, Muhlstein charmingly describes how she and her husband dine at the same restaurant every night for years on end, and how becoming friends with restaurateurs has been an unsurpassed means of getting to know the city and its inhabitants, far from the tourists in San Marco Square
. In his short novella, Begley writes a story of falling in love withand inVenice
. His twenty-year-old protagonist, enamored with an older, far worldlier woman of twenty-seven, is lured by her to the City of Water
, only to be unceremoniously dumped and left to fend for himself after a brief rendezvous. But he discovers a lasting love for Venice
itselfnot an uncommon romance, as Begley’s brilliant literary essay on the city’s place within world literature demonstrates: Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Mann were all illustrious predecessors.