Last Summer in the City

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What to expect

A cult classic of Italian literature published in English for the first time, with a foreword by André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name

In the late 1960s, Leo Gazzara left his family in Milan and moved to Rome for work. Soon unemployed, he has spent his time in an alcoholic haze, bouncing between hotels, bars, romantic entanglements, and the homes of his rich and well-educated friends. Rome is indifferent. Leo drifts, aimless and alone.

On the evening of his thirtieth birthday, he meets Arianna, a young woman who is both fragile and seductive. All night they drive the city in Leo’s run-down Alfa Romeo, talking and talking. They eat brioche for breakfast, drink through the dawn, drive to the sea and back. A whirlwind beginning. This is the story of the year Leo fell in love and lost everything.

Intense, brief, witty and devastating, Last Summer in the City is a newly rediscovered classic of Italian literature. Translated into English for the first time by Howard Curtis, Gianfranco Calligarich’s romantic and despairing debut is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises and The Catcher in the Rye.

Critics Review

  • The true quality of this novel is the way it enlightens, with a desperate clearness, a relationship between a man and a city, that is, between crowd and loneliness

    Natalia Ginzburg
  • The most beautiful love story of the year

    Il Giornale
  • A masterpiece

    Le Figaro
  • Dazzling in every detail

    Elle
  • [A] sublime text, of extraordinary languid beauty and sadness

    Sud Ouest
  • Calligarich’s time capsule of love and existential drift in a lost Rome, translated into sparkling prose by Curtis, is ripe for a rediscovery

    New York Times Book Review

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