Debut author Terry H. Bhola delivers a fascinating expatiatory memoir in which he reveals the joys and pains surrounding his acclimatization into Italian society as a man of colour.
Picking up everything and moving to a new place is never an easy task. However, Terry and his wife (along with their beloved cat) took the challenge to a whole new level. After years of dealing with the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, New York, Terry needed a change of scenery and an intracontinental move would not suffice.
With a longstanding inclination towards the picturesque countryside of Italy, there was no question as to where their new residence would be. However, upon arriving in the scenic countryside of Umbria, Terry and his wife soon realized that their transatlantic transition would be accompanied by some unexpected turbulence. Within the pages of “Searching for Wild Asparagus in Umbria”, Terry vividly and humorously describes the couples’ encounters with the local population, territorial creatures, wild snowstorms, recurring plumbing problems, and other unexpected issues while trying to make their modestly built villetta into a real home – and earn a decent living.
“Searching for Wild Asparagus in Umbria” is an intriguing and deliciously candid memoir, unique in its authorial perspective. Terry not only conveys the surprising and often comical experiences that he and his wife encountered while settling into a new country, but also reveals the mood of modern Italy as a nation not known for embracing diversity, contending with immigration.
Seasoned with countless comical scenes, “Searching for Wild Asparagus in Umbria” is an innovative dolce vita tale that will delight readers from cover to cover.
Although a native of Trinidad and Tobago, Terry has never been able to settle in one place for too long. This has made Terry a resident of both Washington D.C. and New York City, where his thriving career in the publishing industry took place. Terry currently lives in Italy with his wife.Commenting on what it means to be an immigrant in Italy, Terry says: “I recently dreamed I was sitting in a restaurant facing Lago Trasimeno called Ristorante Lo Spinnaker da Franco. The décor was rustically exquisite; nicely lit; flowers; everything… The only bother was this: The chair I was on was rickety and the height of the table made it beyond impossible for me to cross my legs, whereas, the other Italian patrons, (on the same faulty chairs) were sitting comfortably. No, it wasn’t a portending dream at all. Perhaps it was only a suggestion that I could never be fully comfortable in Italy. But here’s the thing: Did my parents, who’d both come to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago as undocumented immigrants, have similar dreams? I certainly doubt it. Why? Because their purpose of migrating to the U.S. was to find better work in order to send remittance back to us. They’d faced xenophobia and nativism, and were obviously exploited based on their status; but they were hard-working, and their commitment under strained circumstances was unwavering; and because of that, we, their children, were able to (after the usual adolescent blunders) gain from it when we were finally sent for.
“The point I’m making is simple: Xenophobia and all the traits that come with it (Mario Borghezio included) is a big nuisance to all first generation immigrants here in Italy, but wherever we are is where our children make (or will make) their lives. It’s our responsibility to set a standard for them to capitalize on—and that’s what my book “Searching for Wild Asparagus in Umbria” is all about: Really integrating.”