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Loot Price R231
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You Save R43 (16%)
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The first US publication of two 1977 novellas by painterly Italian
minimalist Ginzburg (No Way; The City and the House). Set in modern
Rome, both Family and Borghesia sketch the bittersweet passage of
lives lived in gauzy tombs of indecision and gentle resignation.
Carmine, the handsome, 40-ish architect of Family, cannot free
himself from a loveless marriage to the pretty but vacuous
Ninnetta. He consoles himself by gravitating back to the cluttered
life of Ivana, an old lover with whom he had a child that died
almost at birth - a child about whom nothing is said. Carmine
offers sympathy when Ivana's lover commits suicide; Ivana cajoles
and counsels when Carmine's wife takes a lover and Carmine
reciprocates by taking a callous young lover of his own. The real
center of his life, however, lies in the wasted afternoons and
evenings he spends sitting in cafes and in haphazard apartments
with Ivana and their respective children, waiting for life to
happen - and Carmine discovers as much in the reflective hours
before his premature death. In Borghesia, the gentle widow Ilaria
is given a pet kitten. When it is killed, she gets another - when
it is killed, she gets yet another, and this last cat will outlive
her mistress. Quietly, Ilaria and her cats become the loving center
of a whirling world of relatives and their shifting loves. As in
Family, her life is savored only when it is past. Ginzburg has
perfected an immaculate, between-the-lines style that's the Italian
equivalent of Raymond Carver - though her territory is the
gorgeous, amber-lit world of bourgeoisie Rome. Her delicately
oblique sketches of unlived lives linger like the memory of
afternoon sun across a table. (Kirkus Reviews)
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