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Distributed for Autumn House Press

The Neorealist in Winter


Eleven short stories following Italian characters exploring life in an era of media oversaturation.
Salvatore Pane’s The Neorealist in Winter is a collection of eleven short stories that explore what it means to be human in an age of media oversaturation. Utilizing methods of speculative, historical, and postmodern storytelling, Pane grapples with legacies of immigration, poverty, toxic masculinity, and moral failures, while focusing on working-class issues, family drama, and PTSD. Following eleven Italian narrators, Pane builds a cast of cinematic characters across disparate times and places—a struggling director attends a house party in the la dolce vita of 1960s Rome, gangsters chase a low-level lottery runner in coal valley Scranton, a woman contemplates experimental surgery to purge memories of her childhood trauma in Minnesota, and a pro wrestling promoter descends into self-denial through his autobiography.

The Neorealist in Winter was selected by Venita Blackburn as the winner of the 2022 Autumn House Fiction Prize.

166 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2023


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“These stories ache and bend into the convex shapes of despair without necessarily pining for seasons of respite. In the scratch that is ordinary tragedy and extraordinary expectations, a light pulses in these characters filled with language for obsession, adoration, and fury.”

Venita Blackburn, author of Black Jesus and Other Superheroes

“A wildly inventive book that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking, about the strange comforts we find in desperate moments: a man holds off his sorrows by obsessively watching Goodfellas; a son copes with his absent father via professional wrestling; a woman works through trauma by way of a talking-animal sitcom. Pane is a writer alert to all the puzzling paths that healing sometimes takes, a writer of profound insight and honesty and pure gracious human compassion.”

Nathan Hill, author of Wellness: A Novel

“Take a breath between these thrilling stories: you’re about to meet characters on the verge of something great or calamitous, navigating a range of worlds from the hyper-real present to the sepia-toned past. Pane builds delivers each cinematic scene with deft narrative urgency and economy, blending fact and fiction in a way that feels thematically true not only to the Italian American experience, but to the harrowing experience of being alive.”

Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

Table of Contents

1) The Neorealist in Winter
2) Her Final Nights
3) The Electric City
4) The Complete Oral History of Monkey High School
5) Do I Amuse You?
6) Take It Out of Me
7) Mamma-draga
8) The Faith Center
9) Zeitgeist Comics, 1946
10) The Absolutely True Autobiography of Tony Rinaldi, the Man who Changed Pro Wrestling Forever
11) The Last Train to Siena

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