Earthquake I.D.: A Novel

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Red Hen Press, Jan 1, 2007 - Fiction - 305 pages
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Earthquake I.D. offers an exciting new take on Americans in Italy: a nightmare reframing, yet leavened throughout with wit and compassion. The setting is the turbulent southern metropolis of Naples, an urban hive that has suffered many an earthquake over the centuries. The next such shakeup provides Domini with his premise. His American family, Jay and Barbara Lulucita and their five children, are something like innocents abroad. In the naive belief that they can help, they come to this crime-riddled and quake-broken city, which in recent years has also suffered another upheaval ? namely, the impact of the illegal immigrants pouring in from Africa. But soon enough Domini?s protagonists, in particular the richly conflicted wife and mother, prove something less than angels themselves. They buzz with their own secrets and trials. In exploring the turmoil that led this family to abandon their former lives, as well as the larger hurly-burly of Naples, Domini has recourse to a few elements that break from ordinary reality. There?s a child faith-healer, rather a New Age version of the classic Catholic figure. There?s an unnerving NATO officer, forever in the same outfit yet forever in disguise. At times the book recalls Patricia Highsmith and her amoral Ripley, at times Javier Marais and his swarming what-ifs, at times Ian McEwen and his dark comedie humaine. Throughout, despite its bizarre effects, Earthquake I.D. renders an Italy complex and exact, with rare style and a discerning ear. Domini delivers us through terror and laughter to a place of conscience: true to its world and its inhabitants, all struggling to cling to the paper that says they belong.

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User Review  - Laurenbdavis - LibraryThing

John Domini has written a dense, beautiful, deeply thoughtful novel. What a pleasure it is to read a book written by someone who not only has a profound regard for the power of words (his descriptions ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

John Domini has won awards in all genres, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Meridian Editors Prize. He has published fiction in Paris Review, Ploughshares, and anthologies, non-fiction in GQ, the New York Times, and elsewhere, including Italian journals. Domini is also a reviewer with The Believer and other publications, and has worked as a visiting writer at many universities, including Harvard and Northwestern. He has another Naples novel coming out next year, and Italian publication for Earthquake I.D. is being arranged through a house that was the first to translate Don DeLillo.

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