Gioia Timpanelli reads from What Makes a Child Lucky (W.W. Norton, 2008)

Acclaimed storyteller Gioia Timpanelli presents her latest book, a novella of danger and survival in late nineteenth-century rural Sicily. After his best friend is killed by bandits, thirteen-year-old Joseph is kidnapped by the murderers. The gang’s cook, a fierce woman of great practical wisdom and humanity, guides Joseph in the cycles of the seasons, the earth’s gifts in a time of starvation, and the animal sense that enables one to anticipate the actions of others. Her lessons ultimately help him to escape the grip of perpetual violence.

“No one in the world, yes, in the world, can tell a story better than Gioia Timpanelli. You’ll read [her work] for story but you’ll go back for the magic of her word pictures and the music of her lines.”–Frank McCourt