Cesare Pavese

The House on the Hill
  • The House on the Hill

  • 'Pavese's novels are works of an extraordinary depth where one never stops finding new levels, new meanings' Italo Calvino

    June, 1943. Allied aircraft are bombing Turin; fascist Italy is on its knees. Every evening, after a day's teaching in the city, Corrado returns to the safety of the hills and the care of his two doting landladies. He has no attachments, no obligations. Yet against his better judgement he is drawn to the easy warmth of a circle of anti-fascists who congregate at a nearby tavern, and confronted with a painful choice: emotional and political commitment, with all its dangers - or devastating retreat. Pavese's extraordinary semi-autobiographical novel is a lucid portrayal of missed opportunities and human weakness, set against the seductive intensity of the Italian countryside.

    Translated with an introduction by Tim Parks

Cesare Pavese was born in 1908 in Santo Stefano Belbo, a village in the hills of Piedmont. He worked as a translator (of Melville, Joyce and Faulkner) and as an editor for the publishing house Einaudi Editore, while also publishing his own poetry and a string of successful novels, including The House on the Hill and The Moon and the Bonfires. Never actively anti-Fascist himself, he was nevertheless sent into internal exile in Calabria in 1935 for having aided other subversives. He killed himself in 1950, shortly after receiving Italy's most prestigious literary prize, the Strega.

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