Corrado Alvaro (1895–1956) was born in San Luca di Calabria. He studied literature and philosophy at the University of Milan and then went into journalism. He served as an infantry officer in the First World War and was wounded. As a foreign correspondent for Italian newspapers he worked in France, Germany, Russia and the Middle East. His first books were poetry. He began to publish novels in 1926 and also wrote many short stories. Alvaro died in Rome in 1956.
This short but powerful novel of peasant life in Calabria is recognized by Italians as one of the classics of their modern literature. Alvaro, who died in 1956, is frequently compared to Verga, and Revolt in Aspromonte is as moving, as touchingly human as Verga’s Under the Medlar Tree. Revolt in Aspromonte is the story of the shepherd Argiro and his family––of their struggle for survival, and some shred of dignity, against the degrading oppression of the feudal family which controls their village. In his despair, Argiro believes that if only he can educate his youngest son, Benedetto, to be a priest he will achieve status and revenge on those who have wronged him. To this end, he sacrifices himself and the gentle older brother, Antonello. A simple tale––but told with a poetry of style which gives it a somber beauty.