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Tim Parks Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Deadly Mr Duckworth Books

Cara Massimina (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Juggling the Stars (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mimi's Ghost (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Painting Death (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Italy and Italians Books

An Italian Education (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Season with Verona (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Medici Money (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Italian Ways (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Literary Agenda Books

Italian Neighbors (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Is Literature Healthy? (By: Josie Billington) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tragic Imagination (By: Rowan Williams) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Writers and Literature Books

Hell and Back: Reflections on Writers and Writing from Dante to Rushdie (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fighter: Literary Essays (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Novel: A Survival Skill (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life and Work: Writers, Readers, and the Conversations between Them (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pen in Hand: Reading, Rereading and other Mysteries (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Collections

Talking About It (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Translating Style (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Adultery and Other Diversions (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Teach Us to Sit Still (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Literary Tour of Italy (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Calm (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of My Head (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hero's Way (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Italo Calvino Short Story Collections

Adam, One Afternoon (By: Italo Calvino) (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Into The War (By: Italo Calvino) (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Italian Folktales (By: Italo Calvino) (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Difficult Loves (By: Italo Calvino) (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Watcher and Other Stories (By: Italo Calvino) (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marcovaldo (By: Italo Calvino) (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cosmicomics (By: Italo Calvino) (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Distance of the Moon (By: Italo Calvino) (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
T-Zero / Time and the Hunter (By: Italo Calvino) (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invisible Cities (By: Italo Calvino) (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. Palomar (By: Italo Calvino) (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under the Jaguar Sun (By: Italo Calvino) (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Numbers in the Dark (By: Italo Calvino) (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ten Italian Folktales (By: Italo Calvino) (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Complete Cosmicomics (By: Italo Calvino) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Castle of Crossed Destinies (By: Italo Calvino) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen's Necklace (By: Italo Calvino) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Comes the Raven (By: Italo Calvino) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

New Woman, New Fiction(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Granta 62(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Timothy Harold Parks is a British author, novelist, translator, and literature professor. He has authored more than eighteen novels, with his first novel, Tongues of Flame winning the Somerset Maugham Award and Betty Trask Award in 1986. The same year, Park’s book Loving Roger won John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Other of Parks’s highly praised books include Destiny, Shear, Cleaver, Judge Savage, and In Extremis. Some of Parks stories have also been published in The New Yorker.

Since the 1990’s Parks has often written for both the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. He has also published several works of non-fiction, with A Season with Verona getting shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, while his other book, Teach Us to Sit Still, was nominated for the Wellcome Book Prize. From 1993-2019, the author worked at IULM University in Milan as a professor. He has translated several books, notably the works of Italo Calvino, Alberto Moravia, Roberto Calasso, Giacomo Leopardi, and Antonio Tabucchi.

In his non-fiction book, the Italian Ways, Tim Parks narrates his experiences in Italy. Having lived there since 1981, Parks adopted the country’s vast and ever-changing network of trains from his home, Verona, to Milan as his primary means of travel. He was married to an Italian woman (now divorced) for many years, and the two had three children, all born in Italy.

In his book Italian Neighbors, Parks asks the reader to picture him as a busy but inexpert man dashing through the narrow confines of his home waving a net on the end of a long stick. What did he anticipate to catch with the long stick? Well, national character, the people’s feelings, a sense of place, and weather.

In his Italian Ways book, the author enlarges this imaginary net to a fantastical dimension with the hopes of “netting” Italy’s enlarging and complicated railway system and putting it under scrutiny. In his writing, he further describes to his critics who disagree with his concept of train mania that any culture showcases itself through anything the people from that culture do.

It was through the view of a train window that the author caught a glimpse of Italy in the 1970s when he was only 19. While chatting with two young travelers in Florence, he bought a drink spiked with drugs and passed out on the train, only to wake up on a patch of grass outside Rome’s central railway station. His possessions in his shoulder bag were all stolen when he passed out.

In the days that followed, as he persuaded the Italian authorities, he began one of the many bureaucratic odysseys in a country that would later become his home. Instead of letting the rules-spouting fanatics- commonly known as pignoli get him down, Parks accepted the challenge as one of those Italian character-forming situations. He further notes that the only strategy that seemed to work with the Italian officials was a quiet refusal to go away, but not without pride. These Italian rites of passage shaped his life in a country that would later become his home.

Tim Parks began writing about Italian railways in 2005. He would often write these stories for Granta Magazine and would later resume on the subject in 2012 after a strong space of Italian rail improvement had altered the railway networks. Hence, he felt a nostalgic need to preserve what he remembers from the earlier years. His motivation was further compelled by the need to update his scrapbook with mental glimpses of the railway’s continuing improvement and familiarize himself with the new railway network systems.

He traveled further, taking trains from north-south and east to west- shifting between regional and interregional trains, the regular trains and the high-speed Italo trains, and, on rare occasions connecting buses. When he arrived at Reggio Calabria, he traveled to Sicily, where the train was split and carried across the Strait of Messina. Then he traveled back to the mainland and plugged Otranto, the southern part of Italy’s heel, an old rail line known as the Ferrovie Sud-Est. The carriage is as old as 1936, as Parks tells, furnished with brown seats and orange curtains.

It’s to be noted that building the railway lines since 1839 has been Italy’s political rather than an economic project. These nationalized railroads have always brought the country losses, resulting in all sorts of accounting tricks. The lines had a significant role in uniting the different Italian states into one nation; there were fast trains and slow, cheap, expensive, well-maintained, and dilapidated trains used by students and low-class workers. The ticket prices were nearly impenetrable. Manned booths and ticketing machines are often far away from platforms. These machines require the paid assistance of children and roving gypsies. On Sundays, no one works in the booths, the ticketing machines are often jammed, and yet you can’t board a train without a ticket. Luckily, after fruitless dashes in the station, Parks smartens up and purchases a ticket online, only to find himself chased off the train by an old guard who insists on the paper ticket. In contrast, another guard insists he pays a fine since his ticket requires him to go by way of one city instead than another, and he took a slower route.

There are no signs when he needs them to get his way to the lost package station. Even in the ever-glowing city of Milano Centrale, it’s almost impossible to know where to buy tickets or board trains. There are conveyor belts mysteriously leading to the left and right of the platforms and dead-end passages, and there is no need to use the escalators since they never move. As expected, resentment slowly builds up in the dutiful passengers, and the author points up a fundamental Italian emotion. Again Parks agrees that the rail’s appeal is not merely cosmetic, as hundreds and thousands of Italians use the rail networks to travel great distances to school, work, or go home to their family every weekend. His storytelling alternates between praise and grievance, and he uses his sketch as a talkative seatmate next to you on a train, many of who often interrupted his contemplation in most of his train travels.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Tim Parks

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