The modest apartment in Via Gemito smells of paint and white spirit.The living room furniture is pushed up against the wall to create a make-shift studio, and drying canvases must be moved off the beds each night.
Federi, the father, a railway clerk, is convinced of possessing great artistic talent. If he didn’t have a family to feed, he’d be a world-famous painter. Ambitious and frustrated, genuinely talented but full of arrogance and resentment, his life is marked by bitter disappointment.His long-suffering wife and their four sons bear the brunt.
It’s his first-born who, years later, will sift the lies from the truth to tell the story of a man he spent his whole life trying not to resemble.
Narrated against the background of a Naples still marked by WWII and steeped in the city’s language and imagery, The House on Via Gemito – first published 20 years ago – is a masterpiece of contemporary Italian literature.
Imprint: Europa Edns (US)
Publication date: 15/06/2023