We’re very excited about our two spring books that launched on April 23, The Girl Who Said No by Natalie Galli and Strange Tales of World Travel by Gina and Scott Gaille.
Natalie Galli’s riveting memoir reveals the story of eighteen-year-old Franca Viola, who made history in 1966 as one of the first “#metoo” heroines of modern times, when she refused to go along with a centuries-old forcible marriage custom in Sicily. Follow along with Galli as she brings this story to life and shares her observations of Sicilian culture.
Gina and Scott Gaille have traveled to more than 100 countries, and wherever they go they ask local people what’s the strangest experience they’ve ever had there. Strange Tales of World Travel presents 50 of these amazing stories.
She Broke a 1000-Year-Old TraditionEighteen-year-old Franca Viola made history in 1966 as one of the first “#metoo” heroines of modern times, when she refused to go along with a centuries-old forcible marriage custom in Sicily. Having endured kidnap and rape, she publicly defied the expectation that she would marry the rapist to “restore her broken honor.” A social uproar occurred throughout the island—and beyond.
In Natalie Galli’s The Girl Who Said No, Viola’s remarkable story unfolds when the author arrives in Palermo to search for her, with little more than the memory of a tiny article she had spotted two decades prior. Galli wanted to know: whatever had become of this courageous girl who had overturned an ancient, entrenched tradition?
Throughout her search for the enigmatic Franca, Galli shares her own poignant and hilarious observations about a vibrant culture steeped in contradiction and paradox. Does she succeed in locating the elusive proto-feminist whose case forever changed Italian culture and history? Travel along on Galli’s engaging odyssey to find out.
“Engrossing from the very first page. I was totally swept away.” —Lavinia Spalding, author of Writing Away
“This book contains some of the most astonishing tales I’ve ever encountered. One after another. They make for obsessive reading.” —Tim Cahill, author of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh“The entire point of travel is to encounter the unimaginable. Gina and Scott Gaille have collected some of the most remarkable tales to ever see the light of day. A hoot to read.” —J. Maarten Troost, author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?
Gina and Scott Gaille have traveled to more than 100 countries. Wherever they go, they ask this question. Strange Tales of World Travel recounts 50 of these amazing encounters, including:
- Daring Diplomat, who ate the flesh of the venomous cobra bird in the Sahara Desert
- Pearl Trader, who survived a fever through a harrowing "human honey" treatment in Oman
- Agent Ghost, who was shot and left to die in a garbage dump in Africa
- Death-Defying Instagrammer, who stepped on the tail of the world’s sixth most venomous snake in Australia to take a better photo
- Human Pet, who became a prince’s prisoner in Qatar
- Imperial CEO, who made a minion fly twelve hours to Paris from Abu Dhabi to buy clean underwear
- Gorilla Doll, who broke the rules of visiting Rwandan gorillas and got dragged up the side of a volcano
New from Solas House Fiction: Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier
“...a sweeping epic saga of one Irish immigrant’s coming of age from boy to man.”
—John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press reviewer
The adventures continue for Billy Gogan in this sequel to the award-winning novel Billy Gogan, American. Young Billy, an intrepid Irish-American immigrant, enlists in the U.S. Army on the eve of the Mexican-American War after fleeing New York for his life. Amidst the bloodshed he encounters the Texas Rangers, Ulysses S. Grant, and friends who fight alongside him. Billy navigates a dangerous path through gambling dens, wealthy estates, mysterious women, and sweltering heat. While challenged to follow meaningless orders, he struggles to escape a threat more imminent than war.
Sophia Erickson graduated from college with an apparently useless degree in European history. She faced crippling student loans, but after an anxious couple of months waiting tables in her small Massachusetts town, she bought a one-way ticket to China. Over the following two years she had deeply enriching cultural experiences, paid off nearly half her student loans, and visited China from Heilongjiang to Hainan, as well as neighboring countries Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Singapore. The China Option: A Guide for Millennials: How to work, play, and find success in China is a manifesto for recent college grads to pay off debt while living a stimulating, adventurous life, and to pave the way for a successful future.
The secret is out: Cuba is the world’s sexiest, most magnetic travel destination. What isn’t a secret is that folks from around the corner and around the globe have been exploring and falling in love with the largest Caribbean island for decades. Now you can too with 100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go, written from the unique perspective of a New Yorker who has called Havana home for more than 15 years. The 100 places profiled in this book are the result of decades of travel, research, and living in Cuba by a US journalist with uncommon access, ensuring travelers incomparable experiences. Much more than a prescriptive list, these narratives incorporate adventures and mishaps, insider opinion, slang, gossip, and conversations with Cubans during a historic shift that saw Soviet support evaporate, Fidel Castro take his final bow, economic reforms whiffing suspiciously of capitalism, and quasi-normalization with the United States. Author Conner Gorry deciphers the mysteries of Cuba while describing the country’s most alluring sites, sounds, and off-the-beaten track locales. Go with her and discover this magical island for yourself.
EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story
By Nancy Bartley
Funny Travel Story Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas AwardsI never asked to look like a female wrestler. You know the blondes in bikinis who toss each other around the ring or wallow wantonly through mud. But then again, maybe my problem simply was a matter of hair color – streaks of blond highlights in my brown hair, hair-coloring that marked me as distinctively western from my bangs to my trekking pants.
I was in disbelief when one of the men gathered around the television at my hotel first mistook me for a pro wrestler. I’m a writer, not a wrestler, I protested. I was in Nepal, going to Mount Everest Base Camp to do a book on an American mountain climber who had two-minutes of fame for the heroic rescue of a climber left for dead. But the trouble began long before I boarded the Twin Otter for Lukla and the remote regions of Nepal. It began in Thamel, the tourist section of Kathmandu where trekkers and climbers buy outdoor gear at good prices. I was minutes from the hotel when a young man began to follow closely behind me. As I would learn, he had a great fascination with my hair.