Publication Date: 12/05/2022 ISBN: 9781788168557 Category:

Sunken City

Marta Barone, Julia MacGibbon

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date: 12/05/2022 ISBN: 9781788168557 Category:




‘A very powerful and moving book’ Margaret Drabble

‘What an extraordinary voice! I was captivated from the first page and I know Marta’s unique voice will stay with me for a long time. Bravissima!’ Tomasz Jedrowski, author of Swimming in the Dark

Newly-bereaved, bookish and lonely in Turin, a young woman sets out to chronicle her father’s secret lives – and her struggle to accept his loss. She is startled to discover that the gentle, mercurial doctor was sentenced to jail in 1986 for membership of an armed band. Her father, L.B., lived through the Years of Lead, a time of unrest when extreme factions of left and right took hostages, set bombs and murdered their countrymen.

Unable to move on before she can understand her family’s past, she goes in search of him – and ultimately of herself too – the only way she knows how, by reading everything she can … Through her search for the truth, a very different picture starts to emerge.

Publisher Review

A transfixing amalgam of novel, memoir and history ... exquisite prose * TLS * In uncovering her father's story, the author has discovered her own; and her father's story coincides with a dark and partially disremembered chapter in Italy's history ... And given that to find one's father is to find a history, a remembered city resurfaces -- Sofia Silva * Rolling Stone * This is the perfect book for those who want to understand the fog of those extraordinary years and what happened when it lifted and things became visible again and clear to see... This is a book about paternity as a cleaving into two, and it is an unblinking account of what is to be gained by learning who our fathers really are -- Simonetta Sciandivasci * Il Foglio * Sunken City is a vital book. And it is not just the life story of L.B. Nor is it simply the story of a nation during those tragic years. Because here we embark on a descent into an inferno [...] in which the true protagonist is the writer herself, 'the unsatisfactory daughter', a Dante with no Virgil to guide him -- Giovanni Pacchiano * Robinson di Repubblica * What a blazing debut! - Marta Barone switches as deftly and elegantly as Sciascia would have between the crude inhumanity of court documents regarding her father's trial, recollections of her own bookish adolescence, and a steely chronicle of Italy's infamous 'years of lead'. -- Enrico Deaglio * Il Venerdi di Repubblica * Barone masterly weaves dates, recreations, documents and memories of the ones who told her about their story and her 'difficult' father's as well. -- Marta Stella * Corriere della Sera * Thoughtful and smart - a contemporary-set novel which reaches back into the past of Italy's Years of Lead. -- Catherine Taylor A very powerful and moving book -- Margaret Drabble A wonderful book that breathes life into Italian counterculture as the 60s and 70s and their revolutionary optimism and fervour slip away from us... astute and perceptive * International Times *

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