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Open Doors and Three Novellas by Leonardo Sciascia. New York. 1992. Knopf. hardcover. 295 pages. August 1992. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Translated from the Italian by Marie Evans. Joseph Farrell & Sacha Rabinovitch. 0394589793.

 

 

0394589793FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   From the late Leonardo Sciascia, four brief but virtuoso novellas that confirm his preeminence as one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers. Using past and present real-life events as the points of departure for his fiction, Sciascia’s self- styled racconti-inchiesti, or investigative tales, are as emotionally condensed as they are linguistically rich. In the title novella, Sciascia transports us to Palermo; it is 1937. It is here that the politics of fascism, with its policy of ‘closed doors,’ collide with those of socialism, whose doors are ostensibly open. As we ponder the fate of a man on trial for the triple murder of his wife, his former employer, and the successor to his job, it is not so much the verdict that keeps us in suspense as the sentence the accused may face from the presiding judge. In Death and the Knight, a police deputy wearily approaching the end of his career finds himself in confrontation with a radical student group—an encounter that leads him down a path of fear and paranoia, the repercussions of which linger long after the story’s chilling conclusion. The ironically titled A Straightforward Tale presents, in an astonishingly brief period of time, every possible perspective on the mysterious death of a diplomat who has been found slumped over his desk, pen in hand, the piece of paper in front of him containing nothing but the words ‘I have found.’ And in 1912 + 1, a wealthy and beautiful contessa is put on trial for the murder of the handsome young orderly who had forced his attentions on her. In writing that is beautifully textured, an brilliantly incorporating psychological suspense and indelible character portraits into the larger spheres of politics and history, Leonardo Sciascia reemerges, once and for all, as an enduring and eloquent voice in contemporary Italian literature.

 

 

Sciascia LeonardoThe late novelist and essayist Leonardo Sciascia (1921-1989) was one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers, His critically acclaimed fiction has been translated into a number of languages and has also been turned into films, the most recent of which, Open Doors, based on the novella contained in this quartet, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1990.

 

 

 

 

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