CRITICAL PRAISE FOR SALENTO BY 5
“Salento by 5” is a wonderful example of nonfiction writing.
I praise Audrey Fielding for being the controlling consciousness of the book, how she pulled together 5 points of view. I understand how difficult that can be. I admire how adventurous she and her husband David are to go to Salento in the first place and then to go back again and again, and how they had the enterprise to make a book out of it with their Italian friends. I love how Audrey met Luciana at the airport and how Luciana's broken heel was a perfect transition to Audrey’s visiting Italy's heel. Real life can be so interesting.
I love that Audrey and David visited a relatively unknown part of Italy -- i.e., not Florence or Rome -- and showed its value. They made it come to life through food recipes. And through history of land ownership and music and drawings. The book is a deep look into Salento, makes me feel I am there, and I want to be there.
I love how the book uses Italian words and sentences to further bring me in. The book has tastes and smells and sounds.
What a delightful, unique, ambitious work.
-Lowell Cohn, author of Gloves Off: 40 Years of Unfiltered Sports Writing
". . . All five of the reader’s senses are transported to the Salento by Audrey's meticulously curated tales of travel around the heel of Italy’s boot, Luciana's stories of familial land ownership, Carlo's lyrical prose about local music, David's evocative pen-and-ink drawings and watercolors, and Lucia's divine descriptions of traditional food and recipes. Visually stunning and beautifully produced, “Salento by 5” is a worthy addition to the library of anyone drawn to this oft-neglected, exceptionally beautiful part of Italy." - Michelle Fabio, The Ambassador Magazine, National Italian American Foundation
"What a charming and unique travel memoir with stories written by an American couple and the close friends they made during their trips to the Salento. You'll soon be falling under the spell of this special place and the people who inhabit it." -Viana La Place, author of My Italian Garden
"Salento by 5 is an evocative feast for the senses: from vivid prose to imaginative sketches to mouth-watering recipes and much more, the heel of Italy's boot has never seemed more appealing and alive."
-David Farley, author of An Irreverent Curiosity
The book and its five authors
SALENTO BY 5 is a collection of richly woven stories, travel tips, drawings and recipes written about the Southern Italian area of Salento by five authors: three local Italians and two American travelers. A friendship begins in the Rome airport, migrates to Salento at the southern tip of Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot), blossoms over food and wine (of course), and culminates in a narrative filled with nostalgic and personal recollections of Salento’s history, culture, and its unique people. The five authors are:
Audrey Fielding is the editor of SALENTO BY 5. She has worked as a classsroom teacher and literacy coach in San Francisco and the Bay Area, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru and Namibia. She has authored personal and professional essays, co-edited two books on academic literacy, and facilitated the development of a set of readers for young Namibian learners. When not traveling, she is at home in San Francisco studying Italian, watching birds and writing. Contact Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org
As The Traveler, Audrey captures the enchantment of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the whisper of wind in the olive groves and the tastes of earthy greens, ear-shaped pasta, and bowls of steaming mussels. As editor/writer Audrey was introduced to Italy on a teaching sabbatical in 1992. Serendipitous events brought her to Salento in 2003 and ever since, she has returned almost yearly to an apartment facing the sea in the town of Otranto.
Luciana Cacciatore has studied in Pisa, London and Edinburg. She is currently a Special Education teacher in Salento. She is an avid reader in multiple languages. In her spare time, she tends the land she inherited from her grandfather.
As The Raconteur, Luciana writes about her family and the trials of land ownership and cultivation, contrasting the past with the present.
Carlo Longo is an actor and musician. He is a retired high school American Literature teacher. For a number of years he has been the lead singer, songwriter and musician for the band, Bluesalento.
As The Music Maker, Carlo discovers the roots of his band's music in the stone-filled ancient fields where peasants toiled and called to one another.
David Fielding is a retired attorney who practiced civil rights and employment law for many years in San Francisco, California. Among other pursuits, he now studies Italian, sketches in his travel journals, and wishes he could play the tamburello.
As The Sketcher, David draws and watercolors the sea, the old towns, the olive trees and more.
Lucia Erriquez teaches high school English Literature in the town of Gallipoli located in Salento. She is a talented cook, specializing in local dishes and an accomplished artist.
As The Cook, Lucia shares recipes and memories of growing up surrounded by the aromas of freshly baked bread and holiday sweets that permeated the air of her home and neighborhood in the small town of Taviano in Salento.