A Place to Live and Other Selected Essays of Natalia Ginzburg

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Seven Stories Press, May 1, 2003 - Literary Collections - 256 pages
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Arguably one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers, Natalia Ginzburg has been best known in America as a writer’s writer, quiet beloved of her fellow wordsmiths. This collection of personal essays chosen by the eminent American writer Lynne Sharon Schwartz from four of Ginzburg’s books written over the course of Ginzburg’s lifetime was a many-years long project for Schwartz. These essays are deeply felt, but also disarmingly accessible. Full of self-doubt and searing insight, Ginzburg is merciless in her attempts to describe herself and her world—and yet paradoxically, her self-deprecating remarks reveal her deeper confidence in her own eye and writing ability, as well as the weight and nuance of her exploration of the conflict between humane values and bureaucratic rigidity.
 

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Contents

I
13
human relations
15
winter in the abruzzi
35
my craft
41
the son of man
57
portrait of a friend
61
II
69
laziness
71
film
139
universal compassion
143
III
147
such is rome
149
no fairies no wizards
155
an invisible government
161
summer
167
misery in the beautiful horrible city
173

my psychoanalysis
77
the white mustache
85
the great lady
99
a place to live
105
clueless travelers
121
the baby who saw bears
125
portrait of a writer
131
fantasy life
177
IV
193
serena cruz or the meaning of true justice
195
acknowledgments
237
source materials
238
about the author
239
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About the author (2003)

\NATALIA GINZBURG (1916–91) is recognized as one of the foremost Italian writers of the twentieth century, and one of the most eloquent and incisive commentators on postwar Italy. Her works include novels, stories, essays, plays, and a biography of Alessandro Manzoni.
LYNNE SHARON SCHWARTZ is the author of fourteen works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as the widely acclaimed memoir, Ruined by Reading. Her first novel, Rough Strife (1981), was shortlisted for a National Book Award and a PEN/Hemingway First Novel Award, and her Leaving Brooklyn (1989) was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction. She won the 1991 PEN Renato Pogglioli Award for her translation from the Italian of Smoke Over Birkenau, by Liana Millu. Schwartz is a native and current New Yorker.

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