Last Summer in the City

Last Summer in the City

3.69 (2,193 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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A cult classic of Italian literature published in English for the first time, with a foreword by Andre 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 20mm | 348g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529042267
  • 9781529042269
  • 523,058

Review quote

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 * A sad, seductive declaration of love for Rome * Il Messaggero * Romantic, raw and lyrical, this is a novel of rare honesty which depicts with devastating accuracy a world of missed connections and failed intimacy -- Alice Jolly A short, gorgeous, moving and magnificent story of love and solitude -- Il Sole 24 Ore This book, at once painful and ironic, remains a small gem * La Repubblica * A heartrending marvel * L'Echo * Charming, decadent, and emotionally ruthless . . . equal parts Fitzgerald and Antonioni . . . It's wonderful to have this devastating gem at large in the world again -- Andrew Martin, author of Cool for America Deeply haunting . . . A marvel of a novel * Booklist * Calligarich's rendering turns la dolce vita into something more akin to Camus's L'Etranger in a contemporary-ish urban setting. Out of print for years, this welcome new translation is elegiac and heart-rending * Vogue, Best Books to Read This Summer 2021 * The account of a lost generation in Rome in the early 1970s (possibly the children of the children of Hemingway's lost generation) carries the weight of both family history and generational saga * Kirkus * Evocative . . . Calligarich conjures Italy's piazzas, parties, beaches, and bars with a mood reminiscent of A Movable Feast . . . the feeling that Leo is alone in the world is poignantly conveyed * Publishers Weekly *
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About Gianfranco Calligarich

Gianfranco Calligarich was born in Asmara, Eritrea and grew up in Milan before moving to Rome where he worked as a journalist and screenwriter. He wrote many successful TV shows for Rai, the national public broadcasting company of Italy, and founded the Teatro XX Secolo in 1994. He is author of many novels, including La malinconia dei Crusich, which was the winner of the Viareggio Repaci Prize. Last Summer in the City is the first of his novels to be translated into English.

Howard Curtis lives in Norwich, and has translated more than a hundred books from French, Italian, and Spanish.
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Rating details

2,193 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 22% (475)
4 38% (824)
3 30% (664)
2 9% (195)
1 2% (35)
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