Journalist & Bestselling Author
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil might be the first true-crime book that makes the reader want to book a bed and breakfast for an extended weekend at the scene of the crime." - The New York Times Book Review
In 1997, the book became a major motion picture, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring John Cusack and Kevin Spacey. [NOTE: The Writers Institute will screen the film at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 20, 2006 in Page Hall as part of the Classic Film Series.]
Berendt's newest book, The City of Falling Angels (2005), uncovers the mysteries, intrigue, and traditions of Venice, Italy, beyond the usual tourist destinations. The story opens in 1996 when a sensational fire destroys the historic Fenice Opera House. The loss of the Fenice, where five of Verdi's operas premiered, is a catastrophe for Venetians, made worse by the revelation that arson might have been the cause. Arriving three days after the fire, Berendt becomes a kind of detective-inquiring into the nature of life in this remarkable city while gradually revealing the truth about the fire. In the course of his investigations, Berendt encounters a cast of characters as rich and strange as those who populated the pages of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
"With his keen eye, laconic prose, and almost father-confessor-like ability to extract self-incriminating admissions from his various interviewees, Berendt is the most urbane and entertaining of guides through Venice's social labyrinth." - The London Daily Telegraph
"It takes an inordinate amount of willpower to read Berendt's funny, insightful, illuminating travelogue and not want to board the next flight to the mysterious, magical city of canals." - The Boston Globe
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.