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Guernica Editions Spring 2021

The Archeology of a Good Ragù
Discovering Naples, My Father and Myself
By (author): John Domini
John Domini


Guernica World Editions - Hamilton



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
May 01, 2021
$20.00 CAD


9in x 6 x 0.75 in | 1 gr

Page Count:

285 pages
Guernica Editions
Guernica World Editions
Memoirs|Family history, tracing ancestors|Relating to middle adulthood
The Big Other Book Award for Non Fiction - Finalist 2021, Short-listed

The Archeology of a Good Ragù offers a unique take on the recovery narrative. A damaged but savvy author finds new wholeness by way of a fascinating old city: Naples, Italy. John Domini’s exploration of the place— little known to North Americans, yet rich in culture and challenge— draws on decades of research, living with local friends and family. His work has appeared previously in the New York Times and elsewhere, and he’s published award-winning Neapolitan novels. This memoir will take readers into the back alleys and hidden beaches. It will examine intricacies of both romance and crime, and provide insight into the latest Naples immigrants, African refugees. Overall, Archeology of a Good Ragù turns the city into a prism that throws its colors across both urban and spiritual experience, everywhere.

John Domini's exploration of the place--little known to North Americans, yet rich in culture and challenge--draws on decades of research, living with local friends and family. His work has appeared previously in the New York Times and elsewhere, and he's published award-winning Neapolitan novels.

John Domini's The Archeology of a Good Ragù is a warm and rollicking account of a writer tracing lineages through time, and deep into the heart of Naples, in order to find a path back to himself—and to gain a more robust understanding of his roots. In the layered and complex city of Naples, meditations on art, romance, masculinity, violence, and family secrets collide in this captivating memoir.

- Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel and I Hold a Wolf By The Ears

I readily confess to a hot passion for John Domini's memoir, The Archeology of a Good Ragù — his inspired sentences like switchback staircases, his paragraphs sipped like the finest grappa, his chapters a Mediterranean feast. Domini devours Naples, its magic and sensuality and ambiguity, with a gastronome's vitality, and if you told me Mr. Domini and Elena Ferrante are cousins, I'd say, Of course!

- Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

We lovers of Naples are like a secret guild or a society of amateur gourmands. For us, then, John Domini— another prodigal spiritual son of the city— serves up an elaborate Neapolitan dessert which will expand things other than the waistline.

- Lawrence Osborne, author of Beautiful Animals and The Ballad of a Small Player

The Archeology of a Good Ragù offers lively and illuminating insights about both the city of Naples and the process of discovering your roots. John Domini’s exquisite prose braids together past and present, revealing the rich strands of memory that connect world history, urban lore, family narratives, and personal transformation. A stirring, remarkable, and multifaceted memoir.

- Jeff Jackson, author of Destroy All Monsters

Neither archeology nor autobiography, so much as "an attempt to capture the aroma, flavors, and sounds of the city’s cobblestones. Call it an extended meditation on the Neapolitan.

- Brevity

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