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Dandelions by Thea Lenarduzzi in conversation with Marina Warner

dandelions – thea lenarduzzi
Dandelions - Thea Lenarduzzi

Thea Lenarduzzi belongs in two worlds and two languages, and in her unusual, wide-ranging and beautiful memoir Dandelions, she meditates on the divisions and the gifts of her doubled identity. The flower that gives her her title is an emblem of diaspora, as over four generations her family has commuted between Friuli and England (Manchester, Sheffield) in search of work, mainly in the past as terrazzieri. Dandelions is distinguished by the richness, tenderness, and sensitivity of the portraits it gives, especially of the author’s beloved Nonna, the cornerstone of the book and a fountainhead of stories, know-how, folklore, and history – though some of the latter is confused and perplexing.

Thea Lenarduzzi will be in conversation with Marina Warner, who has written about her own Italian antecedents, (The Lost Father, Inventory of a Life Mislaid). They will discuss many themes that Dandelions explores: migration, belonging, belief, the unswept corners of history, the intense vivid pleasures of daily existence, and the questions posed by writing memoirs, especially about the living.


Thea Lenarduzzi is a writer, broadcaster and critic, primarily for the Times Literary Supplement (where she was, for twelve years, commissioning editor). Her first book, Dandelions, a family memoir/ story of migration between northern Italy and northern England, won the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize 2020 and was chosen as one of the New Statesman’s Best Books of 2022. The Observer described Dandelions as an ‘erudite and wise journey of discovery’, the Financial Times as a ‘fascinating and timely investigation of Italian identity’, and the Spectator as ‘a triumph’.

Marina Warner writes fiction, criticism and cultural history. Her award-winning books explore myths, symbols and fairy tales, including From the Beast to the Blonde (Vintage, 1994) and Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights (Chatto & Windus, 2011). Recent publications include the ‘unreliable memoir’, Inventory of a Life Mislaid (Harper Collins, 2021) and Helen Chadwick: The Oval Court (Afterall Books, 2022). She is currently writing a book about the concept of Sanctuary. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

  • Organizzato da: ICI London