History was written nearly thirty years after Elsa Morante and Alberto
Moravia spent a year in hiding among remote farming villages in the
mountains south of Rome. There she witnessed the full impact of the war and
first formed the ambition to write an account of what history - the great
political events driven by men of power, wealth, and ambition - does when
it reaches the realm of ordinary people struggling for life and bread. The
central character in this powerful and unforgiving novel is Ida Mancuso, a
schoolteacher whose husband has died and whose feckless teenage son treats
the war as his playground. A German soldier on his way to North Africa
rapes her, falls in love with her, and leaves her pregnant with a boy whose
survival becomes Ida's passion. Around these two other characters come and
go, each caught up by the war which is like a river in flood. We catch
glimpses of bombing raids, street crimes, a cattle car from which human
cries emerge, an Italian soldier succumbing to frostbite on the Russian
front, the dumb endurance of peasants who have lived their whole lives with
nothing and now must get by with less than nothing. One of the few novels
in any language that renders the full horror of Hitler's war, the war that
never gets into the books . . .-- Alfred Kazan, Esquire A storyteller
who spellbinds.-- Stephen Spender, The New York Review of Books A marvel
of a novel . . . all the pleasures that fiction can offer.-- Doris
Grumbach, Saturday Review

Elsa Morante—History - A Novel

€27.95Price
  • 9781586420048