Tim Parks

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Tim Parks
Tim Parks W3.jpg
Parks in Arezzo in 2019
BornTimothy Harold Parks
(1954-12-19) 19 December 1954 (age 68)
Manchester, England, UK
Alma mater Downing College, Cambridge
Harvard University
Notable works Europa , Destiny, Teach Us to Sit Still, In Extremis
Rita Baldassarre
(m. 1979;div. 2017)
Official website

Timothy Harold Parks (born 19 December 1954) is a British novelist, author of nonfiction, translator from Italian to English, and professor of literature.


Early life and academic career

Parks was born in Manchester, the son of Harold Parks, an Anglican vicar and missionary, and his wife Joan. [1] [2] He grew up in Finchley, and was educated at Westminster City School and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read English. [1] [2] Following graduation in 1977 he spent a further period at Harvard University studying for a doctorate, which he did not complete. [1] [3] During his time in the United States, he wrote introductions for the dramatisations of novels on behalf of the Boston public radio station WGBH. [4] Upon returning to Europe, Parks was employed initially as a marketing executive for a translation company before working as a freelance translator and teacher in Verona. From 1985 to 1992 he was a lecturer at the University of Verona. He was made a Visiting Lecturer at the Istituto Universitario di Lingue Moderne in Milan (now known as IULM University) in 1992, and from 2005 to 2019 was an Associate Professor there. [2]


Parks is the author of twenty novels (notably Europa , which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997). His first novel, Tongues of Flame, won both the Betty Trask Award [5] and Somerset Maugham Award in 1986. [6] In the same year, Parks was awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Loving Roger. [7] Other highly praised titles were Shear, Destiny, Judge Savage, Cleaver, and In Extremis. He has also had a number of stories published in The New Yorker .

Since the 1990s Parks has written frequently for the London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books and has published nonfiction books, including A Season with Verona, shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and Teach Us to Sit Still, shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.

Parks has translated works by Alberto Moravia, Antonio Tabucchi, Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Niccolò Machiavelli, Giacomo Leopardi, Cesare Pavese, and Fleur Jaeggy. His nonfiction book Translating Style was described as "canonical in the field of translation studies". [8] He twice won the John Florio Prize for translations from the Italian. In 2011 he co-curated the exhibition Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and a book of the same title, edited by Ludovica Sebregondi and Tim Parks, was published in 2012 by Giunti. ISBN   978-8809767645. The exhibition was loosely based on Parks' book Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence.

Personal life

Parks married Rita Baldassarre in 1979 and moved to Italy shortly thereafter. The couple have three children. They divorced in 2017. [9]




Translations of Italian works

Secondary literature


  1. 1 2 3 Crown, Sarah (27 July 2012). "A life in writing: Tim Parks". The Guardian . Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  2. 1 2 3 "PARKS, Timothy Harold" . Who's Who . Vol. 2023 (online ed.). A & C Black.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. Parks, Tim. "Hell and Back". timparks.com. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  4. Gillian Fenwick, "Tim Parks (19 December 1954 -)", in Merritt Moseley (ed), Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 231: British Novelists Since 1960, Fourth Series (Detroit, MI: Gale, 2001), p. 223.
  5. "Previous winners of the Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Society of Authors . Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  6. "Tim Parks". British Council . Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. "The Mail on Sunday/John Llewllyn Rhys Prize". Archived from the original on 4 December 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  8. Clarke, Jonathan J. (6 July 2016). "Without Illusions: Jonathan J. Clarke interviews Tim Parks". Los Angeles Review of Books . Los Angeles. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  9. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  10. Parks' website states that this book is not a memoir. "It’s true, there is an Englishman among the many Italians. He has a central role. Readers may feel that’s Parks, there he is. But I have taken the liberty of giving this man many experiences that are not mine."
  11. Parks, Tim (2012) [2010]. Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skeptic's Search for Health and Healing . Rodale Books. ISBN   978-1-6096-1448-5.

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