Renato After Alba by Eugene Mirabelli

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Repetitions from the previous book and the sometimes-artless echoes of the artist’s grieving inflate and mar what is still an affecting look at memory, loss, and love.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Grief astonishes. Ten years after the conclusion of Renato Stillamare s defiant confessions in Renato, the Painter, Alba, his beloved wife of fifty years, dies without warning, and the blow leaves him in pieces. When he resumes his narrative, this larger-than-life artist has been reduced to a gray existence of messy confusion broken belief, crazy hope, desperate philosophy. A man of fragments but still an artist, he assembles a collage of scenes of life with and without Alba, recollections of his eccentric Sicilian-American family, encounters with well-meaning friends, daily attempts at resuming his former life, and metaphysical railings against any deity capable of destroying what it has created. In Renato After Alba, the deepest sorrow is not merely lacerating, outrageous, heart-rending, and tragic, but also, for someone so completely human as the enduring Renato, touchingly comic. And miraculously beautiful in its astonishment.

For anyone who loves the work of James Salter or William Trevor, Eugene Mirabelli is another writer to treasure, and Renato After Alba is one of the best books I ve read in ages a beautiful, profound and exhilarating novel about what sustains us in the face of inevitable loss. Elizabeth Hand, author of Hard Light and Generation Loss

Deeply moving, Renato After Alba is a grief novel that is never depressing. Readers will discover not only solace for being human but also joy for being alive. Alba remains an extraordinary absent presence, fully realized. Another character, a young woman who has lost her husband to brain cancer, has tattooed on her arm the words, If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever words that could be the epigraph to this memorable novel. Jeffrey Berman, author of Writing Widowhood: The Landscapes of Bereavement
 

About Eugene Mirabelli

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Published November 4, 2016 by McPherson and Company. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Jul 27 2016

Repetitions from the previous book and the sometimes-artless echoes of the artist’s grieving inflate and mar what is still an affecting look at memory, loss, and love.

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