Natalia Ginzburg, one of Italy’s great writers, introduced A Family Lexicon, her most celebrated work, with an unusual disclaimer: “The places, events and people are all real. I have invented nothing. Every time that I have found myself inventing something in accordance with my old habits as a novelist, I have felt impelled at once to destroy everything thus invented.” A Family Lexicon re-creates with extraordinary objectivity the small world of a family enduring some of the most difficult years of the twentieth century, the period from the rise of Mussolini through World War II (Ginzburg’s first husband, who was a member of the resistance, was killed by the Nazis) and its immediate aftermath. Every family has its store of phrases and sayings by which it maintains its sense of what it means to be a family. Such sayings and stories lie at the heart of a great novel about family and history.
Natural Histories and A Flaw of Form, two books of short stories by Primo Levi for W.W. Norton to be published in 2015.
ZIBALDONE: The Notebooks of Leopardi published in 2013 in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and in the UK by Penguin.
An extraordinary, epochal, publication-one of the foundational books of modern Western culture, at last fully translated into English.
Giacomo Leopardi is widely recognized as Italy’s finest modern lyric poet, for many the greatest after Dante. He was also one of the most radical and challenging of nineteenth-century thinkers, acknowledged as such by readers from Nietzsche to Benjamin and Beckett. In some senses, his poems may be regarded as explications and explorations of his philosophical ideas, but the primary laboratory in which Leopardi cultivated, nurtured, tested, and refined his analyses and thoughts was his immense notebook.
It was here that the thinker and poet, who was also a prodigious scholar of classical literature and philosophy, with an intimate knowledge of several ancient and contemporary languages, put down his original, wide-ranging, radically modern responses to his reading. His comments about religion, philosophy, language, history, anthropology, the natural sciences, literature, poetry, and love are unprecedented in their brilliance and suggestiveness.
The Zibaldone was not published until the turn of the twentieth century, and only a small proportion of its 4,500-plus pages had before now been translated into English. With this new edition, a team led by Michael Caesar and Franco D’Intino, under the auspices of the Leopardi Centre at Birmingham, has brought the translation of the entire text, along with an extensive critical apparatus, to a successful conclusion. This essential book will open far-reaching new perspectives on nineteenth-century culture.
PRAISE FOR THE ZIBALDONE:
“The greatest intellectual diary of Italian literature, its breadth and depth of thought often compared to the work of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The Zibaldone’s long-overdue translation into English in this handsome edition is warmly to be welcomed . . . With its excellent introduction, its generous notes and cross-referencing, this edition is a huge achievement, making available at last a key document in the history of European thought and throwing light on Leopardi’s unique poetry and prose works.” —Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books
“Beautifully rendered into English by seven translators, superbly edited and annotated by Michael Caesar and Franco D’Intino under the auspices of the Leopardi Centre at the University of Birmingham, with its more than 2,500 pages elegantly printed on thin, Bible-like paper, this is not just a triumph of scholarship but a work of art of which its author could have been justly proud. The first full English version of the Zibaldone is a major event in the history of ideas. With its publication, Leopardi will be ranked among the supreme interrogators of the modern condition.” —John Gray, The New Statesman
In an isolated Austrian music school in the 1930s, two boys, each struggling with the burden of talent and the curse of obsessions, become locked in a complex friendship. The key to their bond lies in the secret of a beautiful, strangley carved violin. As their lives unfold through the most violent decades of this century, the two become companions, rivals, and inevitably, lethal enemies. A powerful metaphysical thriller that leads to a devastating finale.
PRAISE FOR CANONE INVERSO
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year
“A story that is as suspenseful and engaging as it is mysterious…Many surprises await the reader.” – Los Angeles Times
“Maurensig unfolds this tale with an elegant, beguiling, meaningful complexity. There are stories within stories and everything reverberates.”
– The Boston Globe
“This sparely proportioned, soberly recounted story has a mournful beauty.”
– The New York Times Book Review
Within seventeen new stories (only one of which was translated by me), none of which has ever been tranlsted into English, A Tranquil Star reveals a far more nuanced Primo Levi, a humorous and often satirical writer who could create marvelous tales about animals, magical objects, and obsessive love. Largely departing from the Holocaust works for which he is renowned, these higly lyrical, haunting stories form a remarkable collection by one of the twentieth century’s most enduring writers.
PRAISE FOR PRIMO LEVI
“In Levi’s writing, nothing is superfluous and everything is essential.”
– Saul Bellow
“A magically endearing man, the most delicately forceful enchanter I’ve ever known.” – Philip Roth
Pope John Paul II brings to an accessible level the great theological concerns of our times. He goes to the heart of his personal beliefs and speaks with passion about the existence of God; about the dignity of man; about pain, suffering, and evil; about eternal life and the meaning of salvation; about hope; about the relationship of Christianity to other faiths and that of Catholicism to other branches of the Christian faith.
(Some day I will tell the story of how my sister Martha and I came to translate this book but not yet…)
AB: A Playlife Story by Alessandro Benetton, the Chairman of the Benetton group, chronicles the parallel story of a businessman and a brand. The main focus explores how Benetton’s personal life has inspired Playlife, the brand he has successfully re-launched in Italy and throughout the world.
“the world of Playlife – its style, objects, experiences, memories, symbols, passions-is my world too, the one where it all began”.
Interviewed by Paola Poll, Benetton gives a frank account of his childhood in Treviso, his education is the United States and subsequent journey that brought him to establish the Benetton Group. Here are some exclusive images featured in the book, taken from Benetton’s family albums.
In a Christmas fable, a lonely boy captures a beautiful snowflake, decides to give his unique treasure to the kindest person in the world, and in the process, discovers the true spirit of Christmas. As shamelessly heartwarming as a Frank Capra’s film, this story is witty, amusing, and a pleasure to read for children of ALL AGES.