The Story of My Purity by Francesco Pacifico
A Novel

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“The Story of My Purity is a frustrating novel—entertaining enough . . . yet ultimately unconvincing.”
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

An exuberant tale of a man caught between faith and freedom, from one of Italy's most talented young novelists

Thirty years old, growing flabby in a sexless marriage, Piero Rosini has decided to dedicate his life to Jesus. He's renounced the novels and American music that were filling his head with bullshit; he's moved out of his fancy bourgeois neighborhood, which was keeping him from finding spiritual purity and the Lord's truth. Now that he and his wife have settled into an unfinished housing development on the far outskirts of Rome, he'll be able to really concentrate on his job at an ultraconservative Catholic publishing house, editing books that highlight the decadence and degradation of modern society, including one claiming that Pope John Paul II was secretly Jewish. But Piero is suffocating. He worries that The Jewish Pope might be taking things too far. He can't get his beautiful sister-in-law out of his head. Temptations are breaking down his religious resolve. He decides to flee to Paris, which turns out not to be the best way of guarding his purity.
With a charismatic narrator as familiar with the finer points of Christian theology as with the floor layout of IKEA and the schedules of European budget airlines, Francesco Pacifico's exuberant novel brings us Europe old and new and the inner workings of a conflicted but always compelling mind. The Story of My Purity is fiction with great humor, intelligence, neuroticism, and vision, from a young writer at the beginning of a tremendous career.

 

About Francesco Pacifico

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Francesco Pacifico has written for a number of Italian publications, as well as for Rolling Stone and GQ, and has translated the works of Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Dave Eggers, Will Eisner, Dana Spiotta, and more. He is the author of two novels and lives in Rome.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 305 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Story of My Purity
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Tibor Fischer on Apr 24 2013

It could be that Pacifico's Italian has a luminosity that hasn't crossed over in translation, but in terms of content, the book doesn't amount to much.

Read Full Review of The Story of My Purity: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Ted on Mar 16 2013

“The Story of My Purity is a frustrating novel—entertaining enough . . . yet ultimately unconvincing.”

Read Full Review of The Story of My Purity: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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