Multcolib My Librarian Nick: Le belle parole
Annotation:Just discovered last year, I am proud to present a genre that is rare in Italian adult fiction outside of comics or the occasional Strega Nona rendition: the weird tale. Tarchetti's collection is a welcome breath of fresh air for horror and ghost story readers. Highly recommended.
Annotation:I was introduced to Pasolini through his films, but his poetry and this novel show his immense talent as a writer. Not for the easily offended, this account of the slums of Rome is as fascinating as Pasolini's own life. If you are looking for the stereotypes of Italian culture, please move along. This one has teeth.
Annotation:By far my favorite Italian writer whose imagination and style will please fans of Calvino, Borges, or Poe. This is a great place to start, through his brief but talented short stories. If you like his work, try his hypnotic novel 'The Tartar Steppe.' Highly recommended.
Annotation:The first novel from an Italian writer that I read, this novel drops you straight into the vortex of the Italian-German point-of-view during WWII, on the Eastern Front. A sobering portrait of pro-Mussolini politics and Nazi collaboration from a journalist's eye. A powerful but necessary selection.
Annotation:This incredible biographical fiction work by Banti (aka Lucia Lopresti) introduced me to the challenging life of Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman centuries ahead of her time. Published just after WWII, you'd never know this was a fiction title. An essential selection in the long history of women's rights and gender equality.
Annotation:I just finished this book yesterday and had to include it as it is not your typical modern Italian fiction novel: a post-apocalyptic dystopian story. The vineyards and industry of North Italy give way to gangs, violence, and a father struggling to keep himself and his children alive.
Annotation:Known for his smash hit 'I'm Not Scared,' Ammaniti's talent shines again in this novel that is a seamless mix of comedy, crime, family, and the skewed perception of working-class Italians. Not for Mayes-Reichl lovers.
Annotation:Although this list is titled 'The Beautiful Words,' I had to include this sumptuous graphic novel from Mattotti and writer Claudio Piersanti. The neo-realist story of a struggling drunk who exhibits stigmata wounds, looks for love, and joins a carnival. Highly recommended.
Annotation:Not your typical linear narrative, but hilarious and frenetic, Svevo's character of Zeno has been described as the Woody Allen of Italian fiction. Stay with it and you will smile. A great balance with the majority of more serious selections on this list.
Annotation:I love the inventiveness of this novel by Duranti. A translator seeks out an obscure book and becomes involved in a blurred threshold between reality and fiction. For fans of Eco or Arturo Perez-Reverte's 'The Club Dumas.'
Annotation:Like epistolary fiction? Give this story of seventeen letters describing love, loss, and the inevitability of memory replacing lost moments a spin. Original and quite endearing.
Annotation:This is a haunting, lyrical story about the rubble of war, both in location and in the psychology of the past. For those who always knew they would return home again.
Annotation:If you love Sicily and it's unique character, Sciascia's short stories will most certainly take you there. These character-driven stories are lean but immersive. If you like his style, try his incredible novel 'One Way or Another.'
Annotation:If you have never read any Italian fiction, this anthology is an excellent place to begin. Twenty-six authors and a wide range of ideas will introduce you to post-WWII Italy.
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Ah, Italia. It's not just the food, the movies, and the history. The continuing timeline of Italian beauty and perfection extends to its authors as well. Explore these fiction titles that will take you to the true heart of Italy, in their own words. Would you like a list of your own? Just fill out the form at https://multcolib.org/my-librarian