This site uses cookies to provide a better experience. Continuing navigation accept the use of cookies by us OK

Grazia Ietto Gillies in conversation with Simonetta Agnello Hornby



Grazia Ietto Gillies in conversation with Simonetta Agnello Hornby

By the Olive Groves. A Calabrian Childhood, London: I.B. Tauris, 2017

A small town on a hillside of the Aspromonte mountain in Calabria. It is 1945 and a little, sickly girl goes to school. But there is no ‘school’ to go to: her class meets in a rented room in the house of a dressmaker. Decades later Grazia looks back at her childhood with humour, affection and a critical eye. The memories are filtered through her wider international experiences including those of her London life now immersed in academia, the joys and tribulations of family life, the (mis)understandings of day-to-day living in a Anglo-Calabrian cultural context as well as her wider interests in literature. Via engaging anecdotes, Grazia presents us with a vivid picture of a girl, a family and a community transformed through the decades of ‘miracolo economico’ and international contacts and yet retaining their Calabrian roots including the culture of simple, healthy food.


Grazia Ietto Gillies was born in Delianuova (Reggio Calabria) in 1939. She studied economics at La Sapienza in Rome and at MIT in the USA. Her first academic job was at the University of Siena. After her marriage to Donald Gillies, a philosopher of science and mathematics, she moved to London and taught at London South Bank University. She is currently Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics as well as Visiting Research Professor at Birkbeck University of London. She has made presentations at universities and research centres in many countries and has published extensively in the economics of transnational companies. She has had a life interest in literature and this is her first book of narrative.

Simonetta Agnello Hornby
was born in Palermo, Sicily. She has lived in London for over 30 years, working as a family lawyer: in 1979 she co-founded Hornby & Levy, the first law firm specialized in cases of violence within the family, which published in 1997 The Caribbean’s Children Law Project, a study that is still unique today. She has been President of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal for eight years. Her first book The Almond Picker (Penguin) was an international best seller, translated in twelve languages, winner of many literary awards. In addition to her novels, she has written on Italian food and culinary traditions.


Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Time: From 7:00 pm To 8:30 pm

Organized by : IIC Londra

In collaboration with : Il Circolo

Entry : Free


ICI London