Presented by
Frances Vieta and Kenn Richards

Please join us at the Italian American Museum this Thursday, April 30th at 6:30PM. Frances Vieta will present her book entitled, Love in the Land of Barefoot Soldiers, a Gone-with-the Wind historical novel set in 1935 Ethiopia during the Italian invasion. The author, with the help of Kenn Richards and YouTube's vintage newsreels, will introduce the historical context of her book. We think of the League of Nations failure in Europe in 1937-39, but it all began when the League could not stop Benito Mussolini from invading Ethiopia and in doing so used tanks, planes and mustard gas against an almost weaponless African country.
About the Book:

The main character, Ceseli, is a young American archaeologist traveling to the royal city of Axum to research the obelisks for her dissertation. She recently suffered the loss of her father, an international lawyer and archaeological buff, with whom she was very close. Upon her arrival in Ethiopia, she meets Marco, an aristocratic Italian doctor working at a hospital in the capital where she will be staying. Ceseli’s visit to Ethiopia is expected to be just long enough to complete her research, but events surrounding romance and the allure of Ethiopian history, culture, and the safety of its people keep her there much longer. While she is there, Mussolini is looking for any excuse to invade Ethiopia. Despite everyone’s advice and protests, when the war arrives Ceseli stays in Ethiopia to assist at the hospital and care for the wounded. She experiences the atrocities of war, the smell of death, and the sadness of continued loss of the countrymen she has come to love. She watches in horror as Mussolini defies the Geneva Convention and uses mustard gas on the citizens of Ethiopia, bombs hospitals, and annihilates every human with whom they come into contact. Tragedy brings Marco and Ceseli together in the warzone only for history to tear them apart.

About the Author:

Born and raised in New York City, Frances Vieta then lived in Rome, Italy for twenty-seven years as a journalist/​writer for both the American and Italian media. Her expert articles included terrorism, art and food. For much of that time she worked with the specialized offices of the Carabinieri posing as a would-be buyer to recover stolen art. This is the basis for a memoir: Looters’ Paradise: Recovering Italy's Plundered Treasures. She was a long time consultant with the United Nations with frequent travel in Africa and in Ethiopia. This is the basis for an historical novel set in 1935, Love in the Land of Barefoot Soldiers. She now lives in New York City.

Thursday, April 30th, 6:30 P.M.

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
(Corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets)
New York, NY 10013
Suggested donation of $10 per person

RSVP Code: LLBS0430

For reservations, please call the

Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000



*** Please include RSVP Code when making your reservation ***

For information on the Museum's Travel Program, please call Jeannie Russo-Winner at (718) 597-1414
or email:
The IAM is chartered by the University of the State of New York and has a 501(c)(3) designation from

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