Anthony Doerr is quickly becoming my favorite writer. Last year, I read “All The Light We Cannot See” and was really touched by it. Now I know it was not just the plot, it was also the way Doerr writes. Because “Four Seasons in Rome” is very different from “All the Light…” You see, “Four Seasons…” is a travel memoir, while “All the Light…” is a work of fiction, a novel.
Two very different pieces, connected by the same author. It is clearly his writing that can turn any story, true or fictional, into an experience that enriches life. His writing grips me and haunts me and helps me see life differently. It inspires, energizes, and changes my perspective on the banal details of life. No wonder Doerr has received several literary awards, including the Pulitzer for “All the Light…” and no wonder he was named one of the 20 best young American novelists by Granta. He is that good.
The subtitle of “Four Seasons in Rome” is “On twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world.” So what is going on? The day Doerr’s wife gave birth to twins, they received an envelope in the mail, offering him a fellowship to live in Rome for one year and write something. Anything. The offer came from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. How could they say no? Continue reading