Pinti, Pietro 1927–
PINTI, Pietro 1927–
PERSONAL: Born 1927, in Tuscany, Italy; married.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Arcade Publishing, 141 5th Ave., Floor 8, New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Has worked as a farmer and a cook.
(With Jenny Bawtree) Pietro's Book: The Story of a Tuscan Peasant, Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: As a tourist destination and a setting for memoirs and movies, Tuscany has earned a reputation for old-world charm and simple pleasures. There is, of course, another side, and in Pietro's Book: The Story of a Tuscan Peasant Pietro Pinti reveals the grinding poverty, oppression, and ignorance that have also shaped the history of the region. Born into a family of twelve children in 1927, Pinti grew up in the shadow of fascism and social upheaval, and the impact of World War II is a central part of his story. But he also provides an insight into the traditional rhythms of northern Italian life, such as the padrone who actually owned the peasants' land and passed out benefits based on the peasant's success or failure in farming that land. He takes the reader through a typical peasant's year, from making chestnut wood ladders in January to pressing olive oil in December. In addition, as Geographical contributor Christian Amodeo noted, the book is "crammed with comical, predictable and reassuring anecdotes and rhymes—gems of peasant humour that poke fun at people in authority or fellow peasants' hilarious reactions to modern technology." At the same time, there is an undertone of sadness in the book, which after all is a tribute to a vanished world and a lost way of life. For Booklist reviewer GraceAnn A. DeCandido, "This small, cherishable book is as close to living history as one gets."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Pinti, Pietro, and Jenny Bawtree, Pietro's Book: The Story of a Tuscan Peasant, Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.
Booklist, May 15, 2004, GraceAnn A. DeCandido, review of Pietro's Book, p. 1595.
Geographical, September, 2003, Christian Amodeo, review of Pietro's Book, p. 55.
Library Journal, July, 2004, Joseph L. Carlson, review of Pietro's Book, p. 92.