Meeting in Positano

Goliarda Sapienza. trans. from the Italian by Brian Robert Moore. Other Press, $15.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-63542-043-2
Italian writer and filmmaker Sapienza (1924–1996), known by English-language readers for the feminist novel The Art of Joy, offers a languid autofiction of female friendship on the Amalfi Coast. The story unfolds as a series of conversations between the narrator, Goliarda, and Erica Beneventano, an enigmatic young widow. They meet on a secluded beach after Goliarda arrives in Positano in the late 1940s as part of a group scouting for a film location. The women start talking and develop a fast friendship. Erica confides that while her family had once been members of the nobility, her father lost all their money. Over Goliarda’s subsequent visits to Positano, she wants to know what’s caused Erica’s constant sadness. The widow obliges, telling of unrequited love with Riccardo, who came from a poor family; an unhappy marriage with Leopoldo; and relief after Leopoldo unexpectedly died. After this dramatic revelation, Erica reconnects with Riccardo, leading to a final tragedy. While the reader learns little of Goliarda’s film work, Sapienza intersperses Erica’s revelations with brief, finely rendered character sketches of townspeople and crisp descriptions of the landscape. The insights on the relationship between love and money give this elegantly slender novel a nice bit of heft. Agent: Alice Canosi, Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2021
Release date: 05/11/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-63542-044-9
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