cover image Infinite Summer

Infinite Summer

Edoardo Nesi, trans. from the Italian by Alice Kilgarriff. Other Press, $27.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-59051-822-9

Italian writer and politician Nesi introduces readers to the Italy of the 1970s, decades years after the economic downfall of WWII, when a rebounding country is bright and hopeful again. Drawing on his real-life experiences in the textile industry, Nesi charts the growth of this new Italy through the founding of a grand textile company. Ivo Barrocciai, the son of a blanket merchant, is one of the brave new youth who view the newly connected and recovering Europe as an opportunity to be seized. By closing down his father’s humble blanket factory, Ivo plans to open the largest textile factory that their town has ever seen. The factory and its construction gathers a generation of men who came of age in the tumultuous era after the war and exhibit the traits it took to survive in such unsure times. The novel is mainly a love letter to Italy, but also a celebration of the traditional masculinity of that era. Few women in the novel are fleshed out into full characters; many serve only as testaments to the virility of the male leads and become, much like their cars and clothing, status objects for the men who can claim them. The end result is a testosterone-fueled tale of triumph in a changing world. (July)