The beautiful summer - Cesare Pavese

Jacket Image
07 Jun 2018
Penguin Books
112 pages: 198 x 129 x 6mm
Penguin European writers

'An astonishing portrait of an innocent on the verge of discovering the cruelties of love... there are whispers here of the future work of Elena Ferrante' Elizabeth Strout, from the introduction

'Life was a perpetual holiday in those days...'

It's the height of summer in 1930s Italy and sixteen-year-old Ginia is desperate for adventure. So begins a fateful friendship with Amelia, a stylish and sophisticated artist's model who envelops her in a dazzling new world of bohemian artists and intoxicating freedom. Under the spell of her new friends, Ginia soon falls in love with Guido, an enigmatic young painter. It's the start of a desperate love affair, charged with false hope and overwhelming passion - destined to last no longer than the course of a summer.

The Beautiful Summer is a gorgeous coming-of-age tale of lost innocence and first love, by one of Italy's greatest writers.

'Pavese, to me, is a constant source of inspiration' Jhumpa Lahiri

'One of the few essential novelists of the mid-twentieth century' Susan Sontag

'[Pavese writes books of] extraordinary depth where one never stops finding new levels, new meaning' Italo Calvino

'For my trip to Los Angeles, I'm packing The Beautiful Summer, a slender account of love in 1930s Italy' Jessie Burton, bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse

Cesare Pavese was born in northern Italy in 1908. Exiled by the Fascist regime to Calabria in 1935, Pavese eventually returned to Turin to work for the publishing house Giulio Einaudi, where he became the editorial director. Pavese won the Strega Prize for fiction, Italy's most prestigious literary award, for his novel The Beautiful Summer in 1950. Later the same year, after a brief affair with an American actress, he committed suicide. His suicide note reads: "I forgive everyone and ask everyone's forgiveness. O.K.? Don't gossip too much."