Born Twice

Pontiggia, Giuseppe

Published by Knopf, 2002
ISBN 10: 0375413103 / ISBN 13: 9780375413100
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Synopsis: The first major book by one of Italy’s most distinguished novelists to appear in America – an award-winning fictional memoir of a man’s transfiguring experiences raising a son whose disabilities were caused at birth by the carelessness of a single doctor.

After thirty years of visits to specialists, Professor Frigerio–the articulate, unsentimental, powerfully expressive narrator–remembers what one doctor told him only months after his son Paolo was born: “These children are born twice. Their second birth depends on you, on what you are able to give to them. But in the end you too will be reborn.” And as he recounts this journey–his tone ranging from lyrical to angry, humorous to philosophical–we are witness to the emotional and intellectual vicissitudes he has faced: from his guilt at having had an affair during his wife’s pregnancy to his son’s endless medical struggles to his moments of denial and rage as he navigates a world full of obstacles, cruelty, and indifference. But at the heart of this story is Paolo, an extraordinary child we witness grow up to become a teenager who teaches his parents a thing or two while coping exceptionally well with all the questions, curiosities, and dreams of any young man his age. Here, too, is a finely drawn portrait of Paolo’s mother and brother, and of the life of a family bearing the weight of both great tragedy and great love.

Born Twice is a remarkable novel–compassionate and rigorous in its exploration of fatherhood, and of the often surprising nature of disability.

From the Back Cover: “[S]ubversive, deeply affecting . . . hard to shake.” –The San Francisco Chronicle

“[A]rtful . . . . [L]ays bare the . . . stakes in representing the disabled.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[C]ompassionate, deeply moral.”—Publishers Weekly

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Title: Born Twice
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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