Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

Anthony Doerr found himself in the perfect Eternal City with the eternal Paternal Problem: how to care for two beautiful newborn twins while still doing his work as a writer and student and observer. The result is a funny, precise, touching account of cultural barricades crossed and fatherly exhaustions overcome; a story of the universalities of parenting and the specificities of Roman life, that will lift the heart of every parent and delight the mind of every lover of Italy. —Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon

On the same day Anthony Doerr’s wife gave birth to newborn twins, Doerr learned he’d won the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr’s subsequent year in the eternal city, reading Pliny, visits the piazzas, temples and churches of Rome, attending the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II, and raising twin babies. “To call this a travel book,” said Kirkus Reviews, “is to sell it short: it is delightful, funny and full of memorable scenes. Don’t leave for Rome without it.”

A beautiful paean to Rome, a passionately rendered love letter that will appeal to anyone interested in the Eternal City. —Boston Globe •• It’s a tribue to wonder itself. —The Oregonian •• This exquisite little book is filled with the pleasure of travel, the way in which the most ordinary activity can become new and fresh, even something so simple as buying bread, a rejuvenation of the spirit that becomes possible every day. —New Orleans Times-Picayune •• There are so many aphoristic jewels, so much poetry in here…—Richmond Times-Dispatch •• This is a wonderful book: it’s funny, insightful, tender, and wise. —Booksense •• That Doerr sees so acutely in our “astoundingly, intricately, breathtaking beautiful world” makes it all the more happy a thing that he creates, on the printed page, beauty of his own. —Bookslut •• This book, like a long trip through a warm Italian night, is richly rewarding and well worth the effort. —Seattle Times •• He describes characters on the street so vividly that we can believe we’ve met them ourselves, and he does it all with such humility that it is as if we were having a conversation with the guy next door. —Bookreporter.com •• The writer, who was born in Cleveland, does a wonderful and often hilarious job at conveying the feeling of helplessness that goes with traveling with young children, of needing a diaper in a country where you don’t know the word for diaper. —Cleveland Plain Dealer •• A thoughtful meditation on seeing, and the necessity of breaking habits in order to perceive the world clearly. —San Francisco Chronicle •• A passionate reflection about learning to see that celebrates both the foreign and familiar. —Entertainment Weekly •• The descriptions of the eternal city are both exact and loving, and the love is contagious. —The New York Observer •• The memoir is full of… rewarding passages, and anyone with fond memories of Rome will want to savor it slowly. —Publisher’s Weekly