The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice

The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice


By (author) Polly Coles

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  • Publisher: ROBERT HALE LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 212mm x 20mm | 280g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0719808782
  • ISBN 13: 9780719808784
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 73,291

Product description

This is the story of ordinary life in an extraordinary place. The beautiful city of Venice has been a fantasy land for people from around the globe for centuries, but what is it like to live there? To move house by boat, to get a child with a broken leg to hospital or to set off for school one morning only to find that the streets have become rivers and the playground is a lake full of sewage? When Polly Coles and her family left England for Venice, they discovered a city caught between modern and ancient life - where the locals still go on an annual pilgrimage to give thanks for the end of the Black Death; where schools are housed in renaissance palaces and your new washing machine can only be delivered on foot. This is a city perilously under siege from tourism, but its people refuse to give it up - indeed, they love it with a passion. The Politics of Washing is a fascinating window into the world of ordinary Venetians and the strange and unique place they call home.

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Author information

Polly Coles studied English at Oxford University before completing a Masters in Anthropology at the LSE, after which she started writing full-time. Polly abridges for BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and Book of the Week. She and her partner, the violin maker Andrea Ortona, have four children and divide their time between Italy and England.

Review quote

'No one should go to Venice without reading this book.' 'No book as thoughtful, perceptive and humane on Venice...has appeared since William Dean Howells wrote his Venetian Life in 1886.' -- Jonathan Keates Times Literary Supplement 'More cerebral than most Venetian travelogues or fictions...Coles clearly has ample knowledge but also the wit to have travelled light.' -- Caroline Jackson The Spectator 'Eloquent.' The New York Times 'A riveting account of ordinary life in an extraordinary place, packed with charming anecdotes that will have readers hooked on Venetian life.' -- Woodburn Independent 'The Politics of Washing is a readable memoir, at times funny, enjoyable, and feels very real.' Luxury Reading 'A funny, humbling tale of one family's attempt to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.' Cayocosta72 Book Reviews