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Books by Giorgio Bassani

  • The Heron

    Giorgio Bassani

    Product Code: BPLOQ
    Paperback
    The fifth book in Bassani's Romanzo di Ferrara sequence, and his final novel, The Heron is a taut, poignant portrait of a middle-aged man's reckoning with his life. 'It struggled to keep itself aloft, to gain height. But then it suddenly gave up, and dropped as though it were breaking into many pieces' Early on a cold Sunday morning, forty-five-year-old Edgardo Limentani gets up to join a shooting party in the countryside surrounding the town of Ferrara. As the day passes, he contemplates his past, his disappointments and how he has got here. Like the birds he shoots, he realizes, he is trapped, broken, waiting alone for the final coup de grace. Then he sees a way out.
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  • Within the Walls

    Giorgio Bassani

    Product Code: AREBZ
    Paperback
    This is a new translation of Giorgio Bassani's award winning collectionof novellas, which inspired his masterpiece The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. A young working class woman abandoned by her bourgeois lover; the tensions of intermarriage between established classes and communities; a holocaust survivor seemingly back from the dead; a formidable socialist activist defying house arrest; the only surviving witness to the first local atrocity of the Second World War. In these five unforgettable stories, Bassani gave life to the characters that would inform the Romanzo di Ferrara, his suite of novels depicting life in the city. Moving, poetic, atmospheric and artfully observed, this collection is a distillation of Bassani's genius. It won the Strega Prize on first publication as Cinque Storie Ferraresi in 1956, and established Bassani as one of the greatest Italian writers of the twentieth century. "Giorgio Bassani is one of the great witnesses of this century, and one of its great artists." (Guardian). "Powerful new translations...Bassani began as a poet, and McKendrick's redelivery of this taut uncompromising fiction reveals resonance and generosity." (Ali Smith).
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  • The Smell of Hay

    Giorgio Bassani

    Product Code: AKQSN
    Paperback
    A new translation of Giorgio Bassani's haunting collection of short stories that evoke 1930s Ferrara, with an introduction by Ali Smith. Isolated lives and a lost world are evoked in these memorable stories set in the Jewish-Italian community of 1930s Ferrara. A young man's unrequited love; a strange disappearance; a faded hotel; a lonely funfair; the smell of mown hay at the gates of the Jewish Cemetery - these vivid, impressionistic snapshots build a picture of life's brevity and intensity. Part of the sequence including The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, and featuring people and places from these novels, The Smell of Hay is told with a voice that is by turns intimate, ironic, elegiac and rueful. This new translation contains two pieces, added by Bassani to his earlier collection, which have never appeared in English before. "Powerful new translations...Bassani began as a poet, and McKendrick's redelivery of this taut uncompromising fiction reveals resonance and generosity". (Ali Smith). "Giorgio Bassani is one of the great witnesses of this century, and one of its great artists". (Guardian). Giorgio Bassani (1916-2000) was an Italian poet, novelist and editor. The Smell of Hay is the last in a series of six works collected together as Il romanzo di Ferrara. Other works in the cycle include The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, which received the Viareggio Prize and inspired an Academy Award-winning film adaptation by Vittorio de Sica, The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, and Within the Walls (originally published as Five Stories of Ferrara), which won the Strega Prize. Jamie McKendrick is a poet and translator. His translations of Bassani's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles are already available as Penguin Modern Classics, and he is in the process of translating the rest of the Romanzo di Ferrara cycle anew.
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  • The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles

    Giorgio Bassani

    Product Code: ADSTJ
    Paperback
    Into the insular town of 1930s Ferrara, a new doctor arrives. Fadigati is hopeful and modern, and more than anything wants to fit into his new home. But his fresh, appealing appearance soon crumbles when the townsfolk discover his homosexuality, and the young man he pays to be his lover humiliates him publicly. As anti-Semitism spreads across Italy, the Jewish narrator of the tale begins to feel pity for the ostracized doctor, as the fickle nature of a community changing under political forces becomes clear. "The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles" is a gripping and tragic study of how lives can be destroyed by those we consider our neighbours.
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  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

    Giorgio Bassani

    Product Code: ADBXZ
    Paperback
    This is a haunting, elegiac novel which captures the mood and atmosphere of Italy (and in particular Ferrara) in the last summers of the thirties, focusing on an aristocratic Jewish family moving imperceptibly towards its doom. Vittorio De Sica turned the book into a film in 1970, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974.
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