Mary Gray

is creating an Italy book like no other Italy book
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About Mary Gray

I'm a writer, journalist, editor and newly full-time freelancer who's been based in Italy for seven years – with the stories, scrappiness, and coffee-and-Chianti habits to show for it. For nearly six years, I held a deputy editorial role at The Florentine, Florence's primary English language media outlet, where I covered local events from top to bottom and profiled everyone from maverick nuns to Renaissance rugby players. Now a contributing editor and columnist for TF, for two-plus years I've been penning my popular "Rental Diaries" series on housing-related triumphs, disasters, and minor inconveniences, sharing what I hope are relatable reflections on the dual joy and despair of building a home when you're unsure what or where home really is. I co-authored the 2017 edition of Time Out's city guidebook to Florence and have contributed to Forbes Travel Guide, Dream of Italy, and numerous other outlets. Victor Hazan, the 90something widower of the culinary giant and cookbook author Marcella Hazan (basically the Julia Child of Italian cooking, for the uninitiated), once praised my writing in a Facebook post, and I've been insufferable ever since (joking, I hope, but I *have* been living off his compliment for the better part of a year). 

I've joined Patreon because I have a book project marinating that draws upon my experiences in this exhilarating and exhausting country. The project as I imagine it will (thoughtfully) merge personal narrative and humor with research and analysis (for comparable titles in this sort of style, have a look at Lauren Elkin's Flâneuse or Olivia Laing's The Lonely City.) In order to sustain momentum on the research phase of this project, which I'm undertaking while also navigating the ups and downs of freelance life – both financial and existential, let's be clear – I'm humbly welcoming contributions, however small, from friends, supporters, and readers who've enjoyed my work and who would be excited to see a finished product (not to mention get inside intel on the process behind it).

Grazie mille. I can't wait to make this happen and I'd be honored to have your help and vote of confidence!