A Man of No Moon

Jenny McPhee, Author . Counterpoint $24 (271p) ISBN 978-1-58243-375-2

A fictionalized retelling of the tragic post-WWII love affair between Italian writer Cesare Pavese and American noir starlet Constance Dowling, McPhee’s latest excels in noirish atmosphere. In March 1948, poet and translator Dante Omerto Sabato, nearly 40, is saved from jumping off a Rome bridge by a patrolling American sergeant. In the months that follow, he meets a pair of fading U.S. actresses, Gladys and Prudence Godfrey, who have fled Hollywood to try their luck in Rome’s thriving movie industry. Younger Gladys is a sexy little tart, but it is Prudence, the older, a cold dish “incapable of loving a man,” who recognizes Dante as “Italy’s most famous living poet.” As relationships progress among the three, episodes from Dante’s past hurtle through his mind, including a previous youthful love triangle and Dante’s interrogations of Fascist prisoners late in the war. All three of McPhee’s main characters seem intentionally unlikable, and the sex writing in particular designed to make Dante appear absurd: “She came many times, and then, with the skill of the adept, let me reach my apex while inside one of her infertile orifices.” McPhee draws entertainingly on the pulp of the period and has the postwar dynamic of occupier and occupied down. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 285 pages - 978-1-58243-983-9
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-1-58243-462-9
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