Pavese is my favorite Italian writer and this is his best novel. "A town means not being alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the soil, there is something of yourself, that even when you're not there it stays and waits for you. But it isn't easy to live there and not be restless."
Kate Durbin has taken the reality show Hoarders and distilled it into heartbreaking poetry. Durbin pairs interview fragments with descriptions of the items that suffocate the subjects' spaces, and her arrangements are magical. These are moving portraits of Americans attempting to heal trauma with consumption.
"This sense comes most clearly in the course of a long ocean voyage...when, alone in this world of water and sky, you feel the loneliness of the earth in space. And then, as never on land, you know the truth that this world is a water world, a planet dominated by its covering mantel of ocean, in which the continents are but transient instrusions of land above the suraface of the all-encircling sea."
Racuous, vulgar, touching! I don't know if this book is a collection of stories or an autoficional novel or what, but it's fast-paced, hilarious and truthful, so who cares. A good choice for anyone who likes voice-driven fiction, especially fans of Mary Gaitskill, Denis Johnson and Barry Hannah.
Natalia Ginzburg was one of the best Italian novelists of the 20th century if you ask me. She's both very funny and brutally truthful, with a cold, direct style that's all her own. I normally hate epistolary novels but Ginzburg renders the grain of daily life and its surrounding gossip so compellingly in this hilarious and heartbreaking gem about family dynamics and dysfunction, nostalgia and regret, and our failures to comprehend our kin.
This is the perfect little book to keep on your nightstand or in your bag--short, sharp, brilliant stories that stand up to multiple re-reads and sometimes induce strange dreams. Williams can disturb you and make you howl with laughter within the space of a page and her sentences are regularly stunning. I like to keep this one near at hand.