Story of My People

Edoardo Nesi, Author
Edoardo Nesi, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Other Press, $19.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-59051-554-9
Ebook - 76 pages - 978-1-59051-555-6
Paperback - 163 pages - 978-1-59051-677-5
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Concise yet chaotic, Italian filmmaker and translator Nesi’s slim volume, winner of the Strega Prize, describes his experience selling his family textile business in 2004 and the effect of globalization on his beloved textile-driven city of Prato. The book takes meandering turns while bearing witness to a vanishing world. Nesi inherited his family’s business and ran it for years, at one point operating a downsized version that only broke even. Though his love for his city and former occupation is clear and moving, the book lags during its many dips into Nesi’s personal musings that seem to have little to do with the book’s subject. An otherwise gorgeous chapter on visiting his old empty weaving mill, for example, has a three-page detour into what Nesi loves about music. However, the book strengthens by end, making for a searing indictment of globalization’s failures, and the inability of politicians and pundits to consider its impact on real lives. The unrelated ruminations make for confounding reading at times, but much of the book is sad, honest, and biting; overall it is an important work. Agent: Elisabetta Sgarbi, RCS Libri. (May)
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