Emmaus

Overview


Four teenage boys stand on a bridge in the rain, staring down at a fast-flowing river. They're not talking; they're all thinking about the beautiful and enigmatic Andre—only a few months before, she had piled on every piece of clothing she owned and jumped into the black water below. Since then, the boys have been obsessed with the girl who tried to kill herself—the girl who takes men one after another into the bathroom of the local cinema, and who is forcing these devout Catholic boys to question everything ...
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Emmaus

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Overview


Four teenage boys stand on a bridge in the rain, staring down at a fast-flowing river. They're not talking; they're all thinking about the beautiful and enigmatic Andre—only a few months before, she had piled on every piece of clothing she owned and jumped into the black water below. Since then, the boys have been obsessed with the girl who tried to kill herself—the girl who takes men one after another into the bathroom of the local cinema, and who is forcing these devout Catholic boys to question everything they know about devotion, desire, and sin.

A haunting novel from one of the masters of contemporary European fiction, Emmaus brilliantly evokes the perils and uncertainties of youth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Imagine a Virgin Suicides in which the boys, not the girls, are consumed and destroyed by the crypto-religious energies of adolescence. Imagine a book that will make you wish you could be a teenage Italian Catholic boy the way reading Astonishing X-Men #1-24 will make you wish you could be a Mutant, despite the enormous and somewhat equivalent difficulties involved on either count. Imagine writing which renders so precisely the experience of being simultaneously alienated and at home in a life that it feels sometimes, just like life, too beautiful to bear. And imagine a novel that seems finally to warrant that word that every sensible person believes ought rightfully only to be applied to things which actually glow: luminous. Now stop imagining these things; Alessandro Baricco has already imagined them all, and made them real in Emmaus."—Chris Adrian

“Emmaus operates at such high intensity that all three times I set the book down—twice to make coffee, once to eat a small lunch—my eyes took minutes to readjust, so flat and muddy and standard definition did the world around me appear by comparison.” —Adam Levin, author of Hot Pink and The Instructions

"Gorgeously narrated, with densely beautiful language and metaphor.…Terse and elegant, perfect." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The haunting prose is soaked in a poetic sense of doom and brokenness, a hard-edged working-class lyricism reminiscent of Tillie Olson’s dustbowl classic Yonnondio.” —The Daily Beast

“A painful and lyrical chronicle of adolescence...Finishing it feels like waking up from a dream.”—Three Percent

"A short, haunting philosophical novel." —Shelf Awareness

"Alessandro Baricco's new novel is about religion and sin, the sacred and the blasphemous, but perhaps above all about life, about the complicated and painful ways in which we approach it, the prices we pay, the losses and gains that add up to a figure that is always open-ended. It's an eternal story—not new yet always containing original elements that can render it authentic, possible, verifiable, if we know how to see it."—Il Mattino

"Emmaus is a book about how difficult it is to see truly, in all times and in our own time. Thus it is the story of a fiction—that is to say a universe molded over time—that shatters under pressure of the cruelties of truth. But, at the same time, it is also the story of how, amid the ruins, the confusing world of resurrection appears."—La Repubblica

“A riveting read”—Switchback Journal

"It’s the sinister caprice with which he and his characters seem to take in blowing out their fine lines that takes this from being a beautifully written novel, to being a beautifully human novel." —City Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938073151
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,355,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Alessandro Baricco is an Italian writer, director, and performer. He has won the Prix Médicis Étranger in France and the Selezione Campiello, Viareggio, and Palazzo al Bosco prizes in Italy.

Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated three novels by Elena Ferrante—The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter—Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, The Chill by Romano Bilenchi, The Father and the Stranger by Giancarlo de Cataldo, and The Worst Intentions by Alessandro Piperno. Her translation of Linda Ferri's Cecilia is forthcoming in May 2010. She received a PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. She is currently editing the complete works of Primo Levi, for which she received a Guggenheim Translation fellowship. She lives in New York.

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