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(MOBI) The Fireflies of Autumn, and other tales of San Ginese • 9781863959940

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    Gloria Skinner

    The Fireflies of Autumn, and other tales of San Ginese
    by Moreno Giovannoni

    📕 The Fireflies of Autumn, and other tales of San Ginese | READ MORE 📕

    • Author: Moreno Giovannoni
    • Genres: italy, fiction, war, australia
    • Release date: July 2018
    • Language: english
    • ISBN: 9781863959940 (1863959947)
    • Awards: Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Nominee for Fiction (2019)
    • Format: paperback, 256 pages
    • Publisher: Black Inc Books Australia

    About The Book

    * Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction 2019

    * Shortlisted for The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2018

    * Listed by Helen Garner (The Age and SMH) as one of her favourite books in 2018

    * “In The Fireflies of Autumn: And Other Tales of San Ginese, Giovannoni has taken the myth and the memory of a village and made it into a thing of wonder, which is also in its way a habitation of truth and wisdom.” The Saturday Paper, Peter Craven

    * “If there is a literature of homesickness, The Fireflies of Autumn will slide in at the top. It is a profound and delicate disclosure of a subject too often simplified, too often made funny. Funny is included, but the beauty of these tales is in the invisible stitching of erudition and the quite breathtaking emotional understanding of what the weight of the word dislocation means in any human life.” Helen Elliott, The Monthly.

    The Judges’ Report for the VPLA

    The Fireflies of Autumn is a tough and charming book, with echoes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Italo Calvino in its blend of the fantastic, the superstitious, the bawdy and the violent. It’s a collection of interconnected stories — novelistic and written with a refreshing, straightforward sense of humour. It is also, in a sly way, a deeply personal but bracingly unsentimental history of migration — of both its burdens and gains. ‘What if,’ one of the narrators notes early on, ‘after a lifetime you still wonder whether you made a monumental, irreparable mistake by emigrating to Australia?’

    Based largely in the Italian village of San Ginese and broken down into a number of sections, we meet a cast of memorable characters such as Tommaso The Killer, The Angel of Sadness, The Imbecile Daughters and The Adulteress. Moving backwards and forwards in time — from World War I to post-World War II and back again — the chronology is as disjointed as memory and offers a comprehensive portrait of the life not only of a particular village but of a generation of Italians who often endured great hardship, especially during the Mussolini years, and dreamed of better lives in America or Australia. There is a wonderful sense of the complexity of the relationships between family members and the other villagers. A sense, in fact, of the village as a single, constantly evolving organism.

    ======

    San Ginese is a village where God lingers in people’s minds and many dream of California, Argentina or Australia. Some leave only to return feeling disheartened, wishing they had never come back, some never leave and forever wish they had.

    The Fireflies of Autumn takes us to the olive groves and piazzas of this little-known Tuscan village. There we meet Bucchione, who was haunted by the Angel of Sadness; Lo Zena, his neighbour, with whom he feuded for forty years; Tommaso the Killer, the Adulteress, the Dead Boy and many others.

    These are tales of war and migration, feasts and misfortunes — of a people and their place over the course of the twentieth century.

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