When his mother has an affair with a mysterious stranger, young Vittorio Innocente becomes aware of his mother's fall from grace through changes in the way she is treated by the villagers
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The three novels that form his Vittorio Innocente trilogy—The Book of Saints, In a Glass House, and Where She Has Gone—are all available from Picador. A past president of PEN Canada, he lives in Toronto.
This debut novel masterfully evokes a tiny Italian community in the Apennines. It's 1960, the inhabitants pay tribute to the Virgin, but neither modernity nor religion has gained ascendancy over popular awe of "the tremendous forces which envy stirred up, forces age-old and sacred, ones that found their incarnation in the evil eye." Narrator Vittore, age seven, watches as the villagers ostracize his mother, Cristina, when she is bitten by a snake, which to them seems a token of certain punishment for her ongoing affair with a German soldier who, apparently, deserted during WW II. As they whisper of lu malocchiu , the evil eye, the schoolmistress shares with Vittore a copy of the Lives of the Saints . For la maestra , "the saints are not merely the ghosts of some mythical past but an ever-present possibility, the mundane and everyday verging always on the miraculous"; for Vittore, and perhaps for Ricci as well, the Lives , especially the discussion of Saint Cristina, furnishes an alternate paradigm for understanding Cristina's downfall. If parallels between the saint and the defiant village woman are forced, this weakness is handsomely offset by Ricci's unsentimental depictions of the sway of superstition and ritual, of the mystical undercurrents of village life and of the overarching mystery of childhood itself. A citizen of both Italy and Canada, Ricci received the 1990 Canadian Governor General's Award for Fiction.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, New York, N.Y., USA, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First Edition stated, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy of author's first novel. GIFT QUALITY. Bookseller Inventory # 003261
Book Description Knopf, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0679401180