The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

Reviewed by
November 2019, no. 416
Rita Wilson reviews 'The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories' edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories

edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

Penguin Classics, $49.99 hb, 515 pp, 9780241299838

The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

Reviewed by
November 2019, no. 416

In 1942, Elio Vittorini managed to circumvent the Fascist censors and publish Americana, a landmark anthology of thirty-three American authors. The aim of this massive project – over a thousand pages with translations into Italian carried out by ten significant literary figures of the time, including Alberto Moravia, Cesare Pavese, and Nobel Laureate poet Eugenio Montale – was to introduce iconic American voices to Italian readers. In assembling her substantial collection of forty Italian short stories, Jhumpa Lahiri set herself the same objective but in reverse: to introduce Italian authors to American readers. Lahiri declares Vittorini was her ‘guiding light’, not only for the general design of the work but also ‘in writing the brief author biographies – intended as partial sketches and not definitive renderings – that preface each story’.

Rita Wilson reviews 'The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories' edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories

edited by Jhumpa Lahiri

Penguin Classics, $49.99 hb, 515 pp, 9780241299838

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.