Me, You

Me, You

3.4 5
by Erri De Luca, Michael Moore
     
 

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The unnamed narrator of this slim, alluring novel recalls a summer spent at age sixteen on an idyllic Italian island off the coast of Naples in the 1950s, where he spends his days with Nicola, a local fisherman. The narrator falls in love with Caia, who shares with him that she’s Jewish, saved by Italian soldiers from the Nazis, who killed the rest of her…  See more details below

Overview

The unnamed narrator of this slim, alluring novel recalls a summer spent at age sixteen on an idyllic Italian island off the coast of Naples in the 1950s, where he spends his days with Nicola, a local fisherman. The narrator falls in love with Caia, who shares with him that she’s Jewish, saved by Italian soldiers from the Nazis, who killed the rest of her Yugoslav family. The boy demands answers about the war from the adults around him, but is rebuffed by everyone but Nicola, who tells him of Italy’s complicity with the Nazis. His passion for Caia and his ardent patriotism lead him to a flamboyant, cataclysmic act of destruction that brings his tale to an end.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590514801
Publisher:
Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
120
File size:
2 MB

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Read an Excerpt

A fish is a catch once it’s in the boat. It’s a mistake to shout that you’ve hooked it when it has only snapped at the bait and you feel its weight bouncing in the hand that holds the line. A fish is a catch only when it’s on board. You have to pull it up swiftly from the depths with a gentle, even movement, and without jerking. Otherwise you’ll lose it. You mustn’t get excited when you feel it thrashing below and it seems heaven only knows how big, judging by the force it exerts to extricate the hook and bait from its body.
   Nicola taught me how to fish. The boat wasn’t his, it was Uncle’s, my uncle. Nicolas used it year-round, but when the weather was mild he was my uncle’s sailor on Sundays and during summer holidays. At night he went out with a lantern and fished for cuttlefish, a kind of squid, to make bait for the tip of the hook.

Meet the Author

Erri De Luca was born in Naples in 1950 and today lives in the countryside near Rome. He is the author of several novels, including God’s Mountain and Three Horses (Other Press). He taught himself Hebrew and translated several books of the Bible into Italian. He is the most widely read Italian author alive today as well as an international best seller.
 
Beth Archer Brombert‘s most recent translations from Italian are Italo Svevo’s masterpiece, Senilità (in English, Emilio’s Carnival) and Cheese, Pears and History in a Proverb by Massimo Montanari. She is the author of two widely acclaimed biographies: Cristina, Portraits of a Princess and Edouard Manet, Rebel in a Frock Coat (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year).

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Me, You 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
x3 Heh. It's fine. How are you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a little tired. e.e You? *he perches on her elbow, yawning*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah, love. ^_^ I'm just a wittle tired.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the 1950s the teen spends the summer with his uncle and Nicola on a Neapolitan barrier island. The lad stays mostly with Nicola who uses the uncle's boat to fish and taught the sixteen year old how to fish. He meets Caia, a Yugoslavian war orphan who was rescued from Nazi atrocities that left her family dead by Italian soldiers. She is spending the summer on the island with a friend. Nicola warns him to be careful with his affections. Still he falls in love with Caia who is Jewish and begins to explore Italy's role in World War II in which his father was a soldier. The Slav and the Italian teen forge a tender relationship as she allows him to use the Yiddish pronunciation of her name "Chaiele" and dubs him her Tateh as he feels a need to protect the vulnerable orphan. When he gets into a fight with German tourists singing the SS anthem he takes it as an affront to his girlfriend but his cousin Daniele intercedes. Meanwhile he increasingly gets more and more frustrated as his demands about the war remain unanswered except by the stoic fisherman. This is a powerful look at the psychic aftermath of the Nazi reign of terror on Europe. The Italians feel ashamed for what happened but would prefer Caia as a surviving reminder of Never Forget atrocities to leave, and the family of the protagonist who narrates the drama prefers he stop asking questions on events they want buried and forgotten. While the Americans debate the merits of the three New York centerfielders, Europe struggles to deal with turning blind during the war and wanting to remain myopic afterward re the Holocaust. Harriet Klausner