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Though the title may sound like an outsider’s complaint, it betrays the whimsical name of the book’s tongue-in-cheek humor. Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower: Adventures in Italian expression is, in fact, ‘Italy from the inside-out’—product of the author’s fifteen years of permanent Italian living. Linda Falcone’s irreverent, affectionate vignettes spotlight the mentality, temperament and identity of a country whose citizens truly ‘step into speech.’ In Italy, speaking is not just an action—it’s a state of being! Falcone’s quick, witty prose captures the essence of everyday Italian situations and extraordinary conversations that make language and laughter the true key to cultural understanding. Known in Florence as the book that ‘broke all the rules’, Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower spotlights Italy as you’ve never heard it before. ‘Words are the stepping stones that lead you to another world,’ writes Falcone. So welcome to a country ‘where everything depends’ and sandwich-makers fix you the snack ‘they think you should eat’. Welcome to a place where ‘the season’s first strawberries hold more weight than political turnover’ and ‘air is a dangerous element’. Find out why Jell-O quickly becomes ‘a source high-profile crisis’ and why wishing someone good luck ends up bringing exactly the opposite. Learn how ‘shopping reminds you of the insignificance of your desires’ and ‘familiarity is a synonym for power’. Smart enough for the veteran traveler, light enough for the newly arrived—even natives and those who’ve made Italy their long-time home, are inspired to grow with Wallflower. Read it on the train, share it with relatives abroad, collect its cultural know-how like ‘spare change jingling in your pocket’, and when all is said and read—just face the music and Dance.

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