A great commercial success when first published--and an Academy Award-winning film in 1970--Giorgio Bassani's wrenching story of Ferrara, Italy, and the aristocratic Finzi-Contini family during the dangerous days of the Fascist regime has become a modern classic.
As a middle-class Jew, the narrator of the novel has contact with the detached Alberto and Micol Finzi-Contini only when they come to school to sit for final exams, and at the synagogue during the major holy days. For the most part, the Finzi-Continis remain isolated from the rest of the town behind the walls of their elegant estate. When Mussolini issues the anti-Semitic edicts of 1938, the narrator is expelled from the tennis club, and it is then that he is invited to play in the private courts beyond the Finzi-Contini garden.
As the nightmare of the Holocaust descends upon this tranquil world, all are forced from its serenity and insularity. Giorgio Bassani, who was imprisoned until the Allies liberated Italy, won worldwide acclaim and numerous prestigious prizes for his novels and poetry.
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