Natalia Ginzburg: Credit: Archivio Storico Einaudi

Natalia Ginzburg

Natalia Ginzburg (1916–1991), “who authored twelve books and two plays; who, because of anti-Semitic laws, sometimes couldn’t publish under her own name; who raised five children and lost her husband to Fascist torture; who was elected to the Italian parliament as an independent in her late sixties—this woman does not take her present conditions as a given. She asks us to fight back against them, to be brave and resolute. She instructs us to ask for better, for ourselves and for our children” (Belle Boggs, The New Yorker).

Happiness, As Such

Fiction by Natalia Ginzburg

Translated by Minna Zallman Proctor

At the heart of Happiness, As Such is an absence—an abyss that draws everyone nearer to its edge—created by the departure of a family’s wayward only son, Michele, who has fled from Italy to England to escape the dangers and threats of his radical political ties. This novel is part epistolary: his mother writes letters to him, nagging him; his sister Angelica writes to him too; so does Mara, his former lover, who gave birth to a child who could be his own.…
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The Dry Heart

Fiction by Natalia Ginzburg

Translated by Minna Zallman Proctor

The Dry Heart begins and ends with the matter-of-fact pronouncement, “I shot him between the eyes.” Everything in between is a plunge into the chilly waters of loneliness, desperation, and bitterness—and as the tale proceeds, the narrator’s murder of her flighty husband takes on a certain logical inevitability. In this powerful novella, Natalia Ginzburg’s writing is white-hot, fueled by rage, stripped of any preciousness or sentimentality; she transforms an ordinary dull marriage into a rich psychological thriller that might pose the question: why don’t more wives kill their husbands?…
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