The extraordinary novel that confirmed Domenico Starnone as one of the greatest writers in modern Italian literature
“Domenico Starnone’s most important book . . . robust, flawlessly structured and luminously written.”
“A cross-section of Neapolitan life, and a life-story expertly told.”
—Reading in Translation
The modest apartment in Via Gemito smells of paint and white spirit. The living room furniture is pushed up against the wall to create a make-shift studio, and drying canvases must be moved off the beds each night.
Federí, the father, a railway clerk, is convinced of possessing great artistic talent. If he didn’t have a family to feed, he’d be a world-famous painter. Ambitious and frustrated, genuinely talented but full of arrogance and resentment, his life is marked by bitter disappointment. His long-suffering wife and their four sons bear the brunt.
It's his first-born who, years later, will sift the lies from the truth to tell the story of a man he spent his whole life trying not to resemble.
Narrated against the background of a Naples still marked by WWII and steeped in the city’s language and imagery, The House on Via Gemito – first published 20 years ago - is a masterpiece of contemporary Italian literature.
Domenico Starnone was born in Naples and lives in Rome. He is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including First Execution (Europa, 2009), Via Gemito, winner of Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, the Strega, and Ties (Europa, 2017), a New York Times Editors’ Pick, and The Sunday Times’ best novel in translation of 2017.