Family Lexicon (with an introduction by Tim Parks)

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9781911547259: Family Lexicon (with an introduction by Tim Parks)
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'Utterly charming' --The Guardian

'The places, events and people are all real. I have invented nothing.'

Natalia Ginzburg wrote her masterful, Strega Prize winning novel Family Lexicon while living in London in the 1960s. Homesick for her big, noisy Italian family, she summoned them in this novel, which is a celebration of the routines and rituals, in-jokes and insults and, above all, the repeated sayings that make up every family.

The father, Giuseppe Levi, is a Jewish scientist, consumed by his work and a mania for hiking. Impatient and intractable, he is constantly at odds with his impressionable and wistful wife Lidia - yet he cannot be without her. Together they preside over their five children in a house filled with argument and activity, books and politics, visitors, friends and famous faces. But as their children grow up against the backdrop of Mussolini's Italy, the Levi household must become not only a home - but a stronghold against fascism.

Intimate, enchanting and comedic, Family Lexicon is an unforgettable novel about memory, language, and the lasting power that family holds over all of us.

'It is perhaps best to say straight off that the book is a masterpiece.' New Yorker

'A small, entrancing classic.' Hermione Lee

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Review:

'Utterly charming' --The Guardian

'Ginzburg's beautiful words have such solidity and simplicity. I read her with joy and amazement.'-- Tessa Hadley 'A profound commentary on Italian life.' --Tim Parks, London Review of Books

'A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart.' --New York Times

'It seems to give biography a new dimension, new possibilities, and the tired old form of the family chronicle an aspect that is entirely new. Natalia Ginzburg is a brilliant eccentric, almost certainly Italy's best female writer. --TLS

About the Author:

Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991) was born in Sicily and is regarded as one of the most important Italian writers of the twentieth century. She wrote dozens of essays, plays, and novels, including Voices in the Evening, All our Yesterdays, and Family Lexicon, which won the prestigious Strega Prize in 1963. She was involved in activism throughout her life, and served in the Italian parliament from 1983-1987.

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