The Story of Tonleby Mario Rigoni Stern, John Shepley (Translator)
Tonle Bintarn's story takes place in the mountains of the Veneto region, which once bordered the
Mario Rigoni Stern was born in 1921 in Asiago, in the mountains of northeastern Italy. Throughout his literary career, he has remained deeply attached to the region of his birth, its peasant customs, its dialect, its seasonal cycles and shifting historical fortunes.
Tonle Bintarn's story takes place in the mountains of the Veneto region, which once bordered the Austro-Hungarian Empire and where smuggling was a means of subsistence for the peasant population. Having run afoul of a patrol of revenue agents, Tonle must seek refuge beyond the frontier in Central Europe, where year after year he lives by doing odd jobs and working, among other things, as an itinerant print peddler, a horse trainer in Hungary, and a gardener in a Prague castle. But every winter he returns secretly to his home and family, until finally a pardon is granted. By now his children are grown and he has little to do but tend his sheep. Meanwhile, the times are changing, social values are disintegrating under the impact of modernization, and Europe moves ever closer to disaster. During the devastation of the First World War, the occupation and ultimate destruction of his village, and his own internment in an Austrian camp, it is Tonle's loyalty to his roots and his stubborn devotion to his task as a shepherd that persist and make him a quiet symbol of heroism and human endurance.
- Northwestern University Press
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- 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.40(d)
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