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 flower. 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 adolescents and adults. 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. Currently, I teach English language courses and Creative Writing in Italy.

Please refer to the publications page here for a complete list of my work.


I can be reached at:



62 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for stopping by in my blog and for liking my post. Perhaps you’d be interested in reading my other poetry and flash fiction?

    The links are:
    “Dance, Dance Under the Rain!”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/dance-dance-under-the-rain/
    “Whirling Towards the Divinity”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/whirling-towards-the-divinity-2/
    “Love is the Water of Life”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/love-is-the-water-of-life/
    “A Hug from My Heart”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/pantun-sz-012012/
    “The Scholar and the Boatman: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-scholar-and-the-boatman/
    “Two Rupiah Notes”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/two-rupiah-notes/
    “Becoming Human”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/becoming-human/
    “Chinese Bamboo and Paulo Coelho”: http://subhanzein.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/chinese-bamboo-and-paulo-coelho/

    Thank you and I hope you will enjoy what I have in store for you! 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Subhan Zein

  2. Hi~
    Beautiful pictures! I feel like I am there. Just started my visit to your blog – having a great time so far =)

    1. I love your pictures and today’s really caught my eye (exuberant youth and patient middle age, waiting for the beans to grow).

  3. Hi there. I’m having a problem viewing your pictures. They seem stretched from top to bottom, and squeezed in on the sides… wish I could see them as you took them… it could be that they’ve been modified so they would look good on forced wide screen.

  4. Thank you for viewing my little posting on the finials. I too have an “obsession” with all things Italian and I look forward to exploring your images and thoughts on my “second” home. Ciao Bella

  5. Hi Natalie,
    From one Italophile to another, thanks for visiting my blog which often turns out to be an homage to Italy. 🙂
    Sounds like you have a very interesting life! I hope we an meet in Italy sometime.

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