Inspiration starts with a snapshot image and a question. For example, before writing my novel The Virgin Knows I saw a shortish, handsome man in a tweed jacket holding his hand on the small of the back of gorgeous tall, red-haired woman wearing a fur collared coat. Together they strolled down Hanover Street in the North End of Boston, passing men who were sitting in cafes, who eyed them with suspicion and admiration. Who was this couple? Where were they going? Did they love each other? What did the men in cafes think about them?

Crusader Money Hideaway

When Mimmo Vestita remodeled his garage in Grottaglie, Italy, he discovered the floor of a Roman villa and with a little more probing he found a Byzantine crypt under his driveway.

Wild Byzantine Ceiling in Underground Crypt

Located in a field, to the side of a two-lane road, the Cripta del Crocefisso building looks as if it might be a farmer’s old stone storage shed, but once inside the ancient underground structure that's been carved out of rock, you will be truly amazed by the frescoes and unusual ceiling paintings.

Dressed Alike Artists

Funny meeting of artists who unbeknowingly were wearing the same clothes.

Otranto Boomerang

Artist revisits source of inspiration for her 2016 installation "Silent, Silenced, Silence".


A quick tour of Arsanale exhibit of amazing African artists- El Anatsui and Michael Armitage-- Venice Biennale, 2019


Visit master artisan printmaker Giancarlo Busato in his laboratory in Vicenza, Italy.

Satisfied n’ Tickled Too at The Taj Mahal

Being at the Taj Mahal was like walking over the surface of a postcard or being folded inside the interior of a book because the experience is an out-of-body one in the way that the visuals are extraordinarily familiar yet illusatory.  I've never seen such precise symmetry.

Yes. Ride an Elephant in India.

The elephant has a most auspicious symbolism: they embody strength and power, especially power of the libido and are seen as a symbol of great sexual power.

Why You Don’t Want to Hit a Cow in India

If you hit a cow with your car in India the scene will draw a very big crowd and cost the driver a lot of money.

Indian Men Color their Hair More Frequently than Women

In India Beauty Parlors for Women are experiencing growth. Men are much more public about their grooming, often doing it on the street and women don't color their hair nearly as much as the men. A visitor will notice many more grey-haired women than gray-haired men.

Everything you Wanted to Know About Indian Women’s Outfits, Party Food and Etiquette

An afternoon party in Dehradun delivers lots of news about women's friendship, Indian garments, children's energy, hospitality and tumeric-laced food.

On the Day of Our Eclipse: Remembering Jantar Mantar Astronomy Court

As I wait for the 2017 eclipse, I recall the Jantar Mantar Astronomy Court in Jaipur, India, and by coincidence BING's homepage featured a photo from the same courtyard, a magical place for seeing the movement of stars and planets in shadow reveal.

In and Out of Rishikesh (without The Beatles)

In 1968, The Beatles went to Rishikesh to study with Mahrishi Mahesh Yogi and the trip got widespread media attention and influenced Western attitudes about Indian spirituality and music; I went there 40 years later and couldn't wait to get out of town!

Monkey Business in Moussourie

In India monkeys run around the backyard, jumping in trees,  like squirrels do in New England.  Anjula told me a story about when a pack of monkeys broke into their family house in Dehradun. The family dropped everything, scrambled together... Continue Reading →

Bathing in the Ganges

Travelers to India may be tempted to step into the Ganges but simply standing on the shore to watch the pleasure and joy of others is very satisfying experience.

Dehradun = Doon = Boom!

Dehradun is known as the love city,the jewel of the Himalayas, gateway to holy cities, education capital of India; for me Dehradun was the first Indian city I got to know. It is about 6 hours north of Delhi.

Fairy’s First Photo

Fairy, a Hindu family maid, wears a borrowed pink scarf and solemn expression to pose for her first picture in front of a blooming rose bush.

I Lived with a Hindu Family in Dehradun

On July 4, Anjula and I flew to Delhi together. At the airport a man picked up her suitcase by mistake and Anjula had to take a 5 hour bus ride west to retrieve it. This was my first expose to the man/woman imbalance in India. The man would have never gone out of his way to return the suitcase. It was the woman's duty to shoulder the burden of inconvenience.

Why Am Taking You to India?

In India I had seen every possible variation of being human and of humanity--good and bad--and it was unrelenting and afterwards, It became important to look inside myself and others and recognize the Divine.

Look Inside Golden Buddhist Tibetan Stupa

Take a look inside and see the pure gold wall paintings in World Peace Stupa in Dehradun, India, that illustrate the life of Lord Buddha; it took 50 artists three years to do the painting.

The Brown Rice Scene in Dehradun

by CHRISTINE PALAMIDESSI (from Stone's Throw Magazine) A white Range Rover with a thick bull bar headed straight at us. Rageev pushed the heel of his hand hard into the horn, uncurling his finger tips as if they were tender tea... Continue Reading →

Book Reviews

I read a lot. Here are reviews of fiction, non-fiction and collections. Many are reviews of translations of books written in Italian. New reviews posted every month.


Public art monument in Boston celebrates Grandmother love.

The Fiddle Case

A coming-of-age novel about two nineteen-year-old women who set out across the country in the summer of 1972, searching for answers about siblings they have lost, love and friendship.Their initial goal is soon overshadowed by the trip itself. Reminiscent of Thelma and Louise.

The Virgin Knows

A thrilling novel about art theft and recovery, but ultimately, a story about many things: sibiling loyalty, passion, nurturing, devotion. Of separation, grief, abandonment and berievement. Of discovery, rediscovery and explorations Of relationships and generations caring for each other


Loved this book and you will too, especially if you have a connection to or friends & family  who lived in The Bronx. It is a delightful collection of memories from the northernmost borough of New York City: the Bronx,... Continue Reading →


RUNNING SCIENCE is an impressive book, could call it a modern bible, that collects up-to-date data on running research and everyone who might be a serious athlete ought to check it out.


My Brilliant Friend is a literary work about women and friendship that is not chick-lit, the first in a planned trilogy; it fictionalizes childhood and adolescence in Naples, Italy, during the 50s, chronicling the vicissitudes of Lila and Elena’s friendship; at the same time allegorizing the modernization of Italy.


The Sadness of the Samurai is a novel about justice, forgiveness and hope: we all bleed; some wounds heal; others remain. A wonderful, large read with many dark corners.

The 10th Victim Lives On!

Who else could make a film about the role of money, schizophrenia and the individual's destruction and make it sexy, adult and stylish? Review of Elio Petri's 1965 Italian film The 10th Victim.

THE NYMPH : Lina Wertmuller’s Reach for Divine Female Spirit

Lina Wertmuller's THE NYMPH relies on overcharged sexual visuals of Stefania Sandrelli's backside in this film about love, war, fate and virginity.

FILM REVIEW: The Way We Laughed (Così ridevano)

Review of The Way We Laughed unfolds the sacrificial tale of two brothers and won The Golden Lion, in Venice’s 1988 International Film Festival.


Beautiful Anita Pallenberg plays the drugged out wife in this Marco Ferreri film that explores male existential sexuality.

Crisp & Heady Jazz: Wayne Escoffery at KITANO in NYC

Wayne Escoffery's birthday jazz performance at Kitano Club in New York City coincides with wedding anniversary celebration of Boston couple.

THE SICILIAN GIRL ( “La siciliana ribelle”): a review

A complex story about a young Sicilian girl who transforms revenge into justice.

Review of Indian Film Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghant

Celtic Star Paul Pierce could double as Indian actor Ifran Khan in the 2006 film Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghante.

Peelpi Live Tells More Than a Documentary Ever Could

Comedy from India: Peepli Live, a not-to-miss Hindi-English film, takes you to rural India and tells the story of a farmer who might commit suicide so that his family can collect the money they need to save their property.


As a vehicle to test cinema and cultural IQs,IO SONO L'AMORE/ I AM LOVE will surely challenge every film buff

Reflections on Franco Modigliani & Italy at MIT: with Renato Camurri and Nobel Prize Winners Robert Merton and Robert Solow

Franco Modigliani's contribution to economics and reflections on Italy; an evening at MIT with Renato Camurri editor of a new book about Modigliani and Nobel Laureates Robert Solow and Robert Merton and Sloan colleagues Stewart Myers and Francesco Giavazzi.

THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG: Be Prepared to Love (a Review)

Muriel Barbery's novel THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG has a secret ingredient: being prepared to love.

Review of “Sleep No More”: Disappointing Shakespeare

Theater/culture review of A.R.T.'s SLEEP NO MORE, a fusing of Macbeth and Hitchcock, now playing in Boston ( December 2009).

THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US Review of a Vittorio De Sica Film

THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING Review of famous Italian neorealist film, by Christine Palamidessi Moore.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Uccellacci e uccellini: his father myth

Pier Paola Pasolini's film Uccelacci and Uccellini can be read as a reenactment of an ideal father-son relationship. A relationship that he was denied.

Elsa Morante’s ARACOELI: a disturbing story of memory, rejection and love

ARACOELI: Review of 1982 novel, reissued by Open Letters. A disturbing look at memory, rejection and love.

HOW TO LIVE TO 100: Rita Levi-Montalcini

"Eat one meal a day and work, work work, if you want to live to 100." A review of scientist and Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini's philosophy, autobiography, and life.


Sicilian American literature. Review of Tony Ardizzone's novel, In the Garden of Papa Santuzzu.

My Greenwich Village and the Italian American Community

Italian Americans and Yesterday’s Greenwich Village Memoir reveals gone but not forgotten era

Cobra in the Bathroom: Scariest thing that could happen to you

Tonight and every night check around the bathtub for cobras before taking a bath: Jim Corbett's life-and-death struggle with a big snake in a locked room.

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