Arturo's Island

Morante, Elsa

| 2019

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Once considered the greatest writer of Italy's postwar generation-and admired by authors as varied as John Banville and Rivka Galchen-Elsa Morante is experiencing a literary renaissance, marked not least by Ann Goldstein's translation of Arturo's Island, the novel that brought Morante international fame. Imbued with a spectral grace, as if told through an enchanted looking glass, the novel follows the adolescent Arturo through his days on the isolated Neapolitan island of Procida, where-his mother long deceased, his father often absent, and a dog as his sole companion-he roams the countryside and the beaches or reads in his family's lonely, dilapidated mansion. This quiet, meandering existence is upended when his father brings home a beautiful sixteen-year-old bride, Nunziatella. A novel of longing and thwarted desires, filled with Morante's brutal directness and familial torment (James Wood),...

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