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Overview

Giorgio Bassani’s six classic books, collected for the first time in English as the epic masterwork they were intended to be.

Among the masters of twentieth-century literature, Giorgio Bassani and his Northern Italian hometown of Ferrara “are as inseparable as James Joyce and Dublin or Italo Svevo and Trieste” (from the Introduction). Now published in English for the first time as the unified masterwork Bassani intended, The Novel of Ferrara brings together Bassani’s six classics, fully revised by the author at the end of his life: Within the Walls, The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Behind the Door, The Heron, and The Smell of Hay.

Set in the northern Italian town of Ferrara before, during, and after the Second World War, these interlocking stories present a fully rounded world of unforgettable characters: the respected doctor whose homosexuality is tolerated until he is humiliatingly exposed by an exploitative youth; a survivor of the Nazi death camps whose neighbors’ celebration of his return gradually turns to ostracism; a young man discovering the ugly, treacherous price that people will pay for a sense of belonging; the Jewish aristocrat whose social position has been erased; the indomitable schoolteacher, Celia Trotti, whose Communist idealism disturbs and challenges a postwar generation.

The Novel of Ferrara memorializes not only the Ferrarese people, but the city itself, which assumes a character and a voice deeply inflected by the Jewish community to which the narrator belongs. Suffused with new life by acclaimed translator and poet Jamie McKendrick, this seminal work seals Bassani’s reputation as “a quietly insistent chronicler of our age’s various menaces to liberty” (Jonathan Keates).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393080155
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 310,052
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Giorgio Bassani (1916–2000) was a renowned Italian author, editor, and critic. Though born in Bologna, he spent his youth in Ferrara. After a brief imprisonment for anti-Fascist activities, he moved first to Florence, then to Rome, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Jamie McKendrick is a poet and translator born in Liverpool and living in Oxford.

André Aciman is the author of several novels including Call Me by Your Name, Find Me, and Harvard Square, the memoir Out of Egypt, and two books of essays. He is also the editor of The Proust Project. He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he directs the Writers’ Institute. Aciman lives with his wife and family in New York City.

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