The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days by Kate Holden, author of In My Skin

by |September 25, 2010

This is the spellbinding follow-up to Kate Holden’s memoir In My Skin, but it has a different story to tell. The Romantic describes Kate’s journey from Melbourne to Rome and Naples, from romance and sex to love, from loss to understanding—and back again.

This is a book about everything from sex with strangers to the heartbreaking realities of being in love. It’s about the pride of fierce independence and the crushing weight of loneliness. It’s about losing yourself in love and then finding yourself through your lover.

But most of all, The Romantic is the story of one woman’s pilgrimage to discover who she really is. And to learn to like what she finds.

From Kate’s website:

The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days is my second book and will be published in October this year. I’m thrilled and nervous about it coming out. It appears as a follow-up to In My Skin in the sense that it is another memoir, and delves further into the time I spent in Italy which was described briefly at the end of In My Skin. It turned out that there was another whole book to be written about that experience, and, though it’s quite different in many ways to the first, I am proud of this second book and hope it will be enjoyed by readers of my first, and new people as well.

It is the story of a young woman, recovering from some difficult and challenging times in Melbourne, who goes to Rome in search of four things: Rome, the Romantic poets, romance and herself. She finds all of these, but in ways she doesn’t expect, and a series of relationships that both give her a great deal, and take a lot. It’s a book which tries to get into the heart of a paradox: how do you become true to yourself when you are lost? How do you find yourself when you are trying to hide?

I hope it is a book that will move and intrigue readers, that female readers will be able to find themselves in, and men will take something from.

From an article by Jane Sullivan in The Sydney Morning Herald:

Acclaimed author and former heroin-addicted prostitute Kate Holden has written a different kind of sex memoir.

KATE Holden shifts uneasily on her bar stool. “It’s not a sex book,” she says of her new memoir, The Romantic.

“It just has lots of sexy bits.” No surprises there from the author of the acclaimed bestseller In My Skin, her true story of how a nice bookish University of Melbourne graduate descended into heroin addiction and prostitution in St Kilda.

In her new book she’s clean, off the game, heading to Rome on a pilgrimage in the company of her beloved Romantic poets and the works of Goethe and Casanova, keen to cross from selling sex to making love.

If you’re after raunch, you’ll find it. Look! Kate Does Threesomes! With two men, and again with a man and a woman! Kate dents a car bonnet with her bottom Doing It in the street! Kate Does Things with two dildos — one black, one pink!

She’s not abashed to write about sex: having already exposed her sexual life, she doesn’t have a problem with people discussing it. “But I don’t want to become ‘the sex girl’. I’m not better or worse at it than anyone else, but I’m fascinated by the way sex works as a phenomenon, I’m using it to interrogate relationships. More…

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About the Contributor

John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for the last twenty years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Head of Product and Chief Buyer at

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  • September 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Wow Kate’s novel sounds fascinating. It is bound to be a gritty tale as she has certainly experienced lifes up and downs. Can’t wait to read it.


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