Growing up in Brisbane in the 1970s and 80s, Zoe Boccabella knew if you wanted to fit in, you did t bottle tomatoes, have plastic on the hallway carpet or a glory box of Italian linens. Though she tried to be like 'everyone else', refusing to learn Italian and even dyeing her dark hair blonde, Zoe couldn't shake the unsettling sense of feeling 'half-and-half' - half Australian, mezza italiana - unable to fit fully into either culture, or merge the two. Years later, she travels to her family's ancestral village of Fossa in Abruzzo and discovers a place that is the stuff of fairytales - medieval castles, mystics, dark forests, serpent charmers and witches. As Zoe stays in the house that has belonged to her family for centuries, the village casts its spell. She begins to realise the preciousness of her heritage and the stories, recipes and traditions of her extended Italian family become a treasured part of her life. Then the earthquake hits...Beautifully written, sprinkled with recipes and laced with love, Mezza Italiana is a heart-warming journey into the soul of Italy, and into a family you'll never forget!
Zoe Boccabella was born and grew up in Brisbane. She has worked as a writer and researcher for universities and government as well as freelance. Zoe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature and sociology, and a Master of Philosophy in diasporic writing. Since childhood she has loved to write and attempted her first 'novel', Tragedy Island, at age seven. She is drawn to collecting oral histories, culinary traditions and stories of migrancy. Zoe's first book, Mezza Italiana, was published by ABC Books in 2011.