Head Above Water
Head Above Water
Translated by Anne Milano Appel

  • Northern California Book Award for Best Translation

Italian writer Cardo Maraini is a cauldron of contradictions. Plagued by guilt over the drowning of his younger brother, he is strangely terrified by life. When the Norwegian woman he loves becomes pregnant, he plunges into a comically disastrous liaison, fleeing from commitment and responsibility. He tries to escape through writing about his youth, reliving erotic encounters and the political activism of Italy in the 1960s. When he is finally forced to confront his past and his evasions, he learns to face his fear and finds that there are second chances after all.

"Middle-aged writer awkwardly attempts to make peace with his past—and grow up while he's at it. . . . Very deftly handled: Italian poet Bortolussi's debut has a light touch"—Kirkus Reviews

"Stefano Bortolussi surveys the adolescent angst of the Italian male who struggles with his inner demons with humor and sympathy"—Adele Santamarino

"Cardo Mariano ruminates on his feckless political past, his lusty and sometimes baffling relationships with women, and finally comes to terms with his loneliness and fear. A pleasure on all counts."—Georgio Vittorini

Title Head Above Water
Translated by Anne Milano Appel
Prize Northern California Book Award for Best Translation
Publisher City Lights Publishers
BISAC Subject Heading FIC000000 FICTION
Title First Published 01 October 2003
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 182 p.
ISBN-10 087286426X
ISBN-13 9780872864269
Publication Date 01 October 2003
Main content page count 182
Dimensions 5 x 7 in.
Weight 16 oz.
List Price $11.95

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deaths of siblings, fatherhood, Italian fiction in translation, Italian political activism, trauma, writing about writers