The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman is about a son of a legendary painter looking to craft his own legacy. I’ve read Rachman’s previous work, The Imperfectionists back in 2011, which is a fiction book set in Rome detailing the lives of editors, reporters and executives at an international English-newspaper. I very much enjoyed that book as it had topics near and dear to my heart: journalism and an Italy setting.
Rachman worked as a journalist for the AP in New York and Rome and journalists who also write fiction are usually very disciplined writers. You have to be because there’s only so much space in the newspaper, magazine or even online. So typically when they write fiction, every word that is used has a purpose.
I’m intrigued by The Italian Teacher. Here’s the official synopsis from Penguin Random House:
Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear’s genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father’s attention–first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father’s biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father’s legacy–and make his own mark on the world.
Also check out this praise: Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Amazon.com, Instyle, Poets and Writers, Southern Living, Seattle Times, Chicago Review of Books, Newsday, The Boston Herald, and more.
So feeling good about this one.
I’m curious to learn more about the characters Bear and Pinch (and if/what are the stories behind those names), the complicated father-son dynamic and if Pinch does make his own mark on the world.