Gold-Rimmed Spectacles by Giorgio Bassani
(Penguin Translated Texts)

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...it is perhaps not surprising that a more recent elegist of the Jews, WG Sebald, declared this one of his favourite books.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.
 

About Giorgio Bassani

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Giorgio Bassani was born in 1916. From 1938 onwards he became involved in various anti-fascist activities for which he was imprisoned in 1943. His works include The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, The Heron, Behind the Door and Five Stories of Ferrara, which won the Strega Prize. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis was awarded the Viareggio Prize in 1962 and was made into a feature film.Jamie McKendrick is an award-winning poet and translator. His translation of Bassani's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is already available, and he is currently translating the rest of the Ferrara Cycle anew for Penguin Modern Classics.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Penguin Classic. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben Hutchinson on Mar 31 2012

...it is perhaps not surprising that a more recent elegist of the Jews, WG Sebald, declared this one of his favourite books.

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