Near the Duomo in Milan, in a tree-lined viale or boulevard, live a man, a woman, two boys, two fish in an algae-encrusted tank, and a Jack Russell terrier named Wendy. The man is Italian, the woman is American and the boys are half-and-half.
All seven flourish.
They own a balcony that juts into the sky from their fourth floor kitchen. Here pink-and-red geraniums thrive. White sheets flap and dry in the sun. Boys lick dripping ice-cream, basil grows fragrant and diavoli toscani, dangerous looking insects, hover at dusk.
By day, the man handles demanding clients and fussy bosses. The woman teaches English to adolescent kids . And the boys sweat over Italian, English, Latin and German.
After hours is when the real fun is had.
The man jogs in the park, tension flying from his shoulders with each lap around the man-made lake. The boys play soccer in the courtyard and forget demands placed on them by a complex, global future. And the woman, Natalia Sarkissian–me!–in a little alcove off the dining room, crafts stories, one postcard at a time.
Postcards from Italy offers flashes and glimpses to friends (known and unknown) about friends (real or imagined) caught in a crazy landscape where the dolce vita still lives on. Some of the stories and vignettes are true, others are fiction.
I have a BA and MA in art history, an MBA in international finance and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I have worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, at the Huntington Art Gallery in Austin, Texas and at Accenture in Milan. Currently, I teach English in Milan. Over the years my writing, translations and photographs have been published in the US and Italy [among others] by the University of Texas Press, IPSOA publishers, Corriere della Sera, il Sole 24 Ore, The Huffington Post and Numéro Cinq Magazine (www.numerocinqmagazine.com) where I have been a Contributing Editor and Contributor since 2010. My photo essay for Numéro Cinq “Egypt after the Revolution, II” was Freshly Pressed–selected as best of the blogs by WordPress.com–on June 24, 2011. I won second place in the 2013 Tuscany Prize for short fiction for my story, “Lily on the Bus,” which was subsequently anthologized. I also won honorable mentions in both the 2009 and 2010 Lorian Hemingway short story contests.
Please refer to the publications page here for a complete list of my work.
You can contact me at nataliasarkissian (at) nataliasarkissian (dot) com.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!