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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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FARLEY, David. (Dubuque, IA, Sept. 25, 1971-- ) Farley spent his early years in Simi Valley, California. He graduated from Simi Valley High School and received a bachelor's degree from University of California, Santa Cruz and a master's degree in European history from San Francisco State University. He has lived in Prague, Paris, and Rome and now lives in New York City.

Farley wrote mostly about travel, food, and culture for AFAR magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, and the World Hum.

In 2006 and 2013, he won Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers for magazine articles he had written.

An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town, Farley's first book, was a narrative history/travelogue about Farley's time living in Calcata, Italy while searching for the Holy Foreskin, which was preserved in the medieval hill town's church for centuries until it went missing under mysterious circumstances in the 1980s. The book was named one of the best travel books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and WorldHum.com and one of the best books of the decade by the Telegraph Herald. In October 2010, it won a Lowell Thomas Award for best travel book.

In December 2013, National Geographic Channel broadcast a documentary, starring Farley and based on his book, called "The Quest for the Holy Foreskin".

Modernist Travel Writing: Intellectuals Abroad, another book written by Farley, examined the ways in which a number of writers used the techniques and stylistic innovations of modernism in their travel narratives to engage the political, social, and cultural histories of the years between the world wars. (1)



"David Farley." Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Farley

1. Amazon.com Online: http://www.amazon.com/Modernist-Travel-Writing-Intellectuals-Abroad/dp/0826219012