Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780226296883 Published May 2003

It's Hard to Talk about Yourself

Natalia Ginzburg

It's Hard to Talk about Yourself

Natalia Ginzburg

Translated by Louise Quirke
248 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 2003
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780226296883 Published May 2003
Natalia Ginzburg, arguably the most important woman writer of postwar Italy, always spoke of herself with irrepressible modesty. Yet the woman who claimed she "never managed to climb up mountains" in fact wrote the history of twentieth-century Italy with her sparse and captivating prose, chronicling Fascism, war, and the Nazi occupation as well as the intimacies of family life.

Ginzburg's marriage to Leone Ginzburg, who met his death at the hands of the Nazis for his anti-Fascists activities, and her work for the Einaudi publishing house placed her squarely in the center of Italian political and cultural life. But whether writing about the Turin of her childhood, the Abruzzi countryside, where her family was interned during World War II, or contemporary Rome, Ginzburg never shied away from the traumas of history-even if she approached them only indirectly, through the mundane details and catastrophes of personal life.

Intensely reserved, Ginzburg said that she "crept toward autobiography stealthily like a wolf." But she did openly discuss her life and her work in an extraordinary series of interviews for Italian radio in 1990. Never before published in English, It's Hard to Talk about Yourself presents a vivid portrait of Ginzburg in her own words on the forces that shaped her remarkable life-politics, publishing, literature, and family. This fluid translation will join Ginzburg's autobiography, Family Sayings, as one of the most important records of her life and, as the editors write in their preface, "the last, unexpected, original book by Natalia Ginzburg."

Preface by Lisa Ginzburg
Editors' Note
1. From Turati to Ginzburg
2. Working Life
3. The Job of the Writer
4. The Plays
5. Interlocutors
6. Family and Bourgeoisie
7. Politics
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