By dint of their artistry––which is to say by simultaneously breaking our hearts and making us happy––the stories in this collection become the indispensable companions of anyone who reads them.—Brendan Gill, The New Yorker
Born in 1908, Niccolo Tucci is the author of six books (three in Italian, three in English). He first became known in America for his articles and stories published in various leading periodicals––among them Partisan Review, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. The Rain Came Last is the first collection of Tucci’s English-language stories to be published. Mary McCarthy remarks in her introduction that the material Tucci delineates lies "somewhere between excruciated memory and ’happy’ invention." He writes of his childhood and adolescence in the remote Tuscany countryside where his family lived, dislocated from its grand and opulent past. Later, in a different dislocation, Tucci’s stories spring from his urbane and bohemian adult years in Manhattan, to which he emigrated in the 1930s. Very few other writers for whom English was not a native language have adopted and adapted it in so masterly and personal a fashion––Conrad and Nabokov among the rare exceptions. "He is," comments Mary McCarthy, "an international man, a very unusual thing, and it is that perhaps that has put and kept him in a class by himself."