From Argentina to Italy, the intense, metaphysical and poetic story of a gardener in love, by Italy's most prominent writer. "A MAN'S LIFE LASTS AS LONG AS THREE HORSES. YOU HAVE already buried the first." Somewhere along the coastline of Italy, a man passes his days in solitude and silence, tending a garden and reading books of travel and adventure. Through these simple routines he seeks to quiet the painful memories of the past: a life on the run from Argentina's Dirty War; a young bride "disappeared" by the military; a terrifying escape through the wilds of Patagonia. Yet everywhere he turns, new life is pulsing, ready to awaken his senses, like the force that drives his fruit trees into bloom. People and events from the past and present migrate into patterns assigned by a metaphysical geometry. A woman of the world reintroduces him to love. An African day laborer teaches him the meaning of gratitude. In this intense narrative, every acute observation, every nuance, becomes a means of salvation. Using a language that is both gripping and contemplative, Three Horses is an unforgettable tale.
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(197mm x 127mm x 10mm)
Other Press LLC
Publisher: Other Press LLC
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A keenly romantic tale of loss and solace from Italian novelist de Luca (God's Mountain, 2002, etc.). The book's unnamed hero is the archetypal man in flight from his past after his true love, Dvora, is assassinated during a war in Argentina. First he is a lone guerilla, fighting the regime that murdered Dvora, then a fugitive living off the meager land in Patagonia. Smuggled to the Falklands by a sympathetic ship's captain, he is rescued from his military pursuers by invading British troops. This part of the story is told in flashbacks. The hero is now living in an Italian town where he works as a gardener, intimate only with his plants and with the books he reads every night after work. As the novel begins, he embarks on an affair with Laila, an enigmatic young prostitute. The two have an instant, mystical connection: She reads his thoughts, and they converse in riddles and images. The book is characterized by an extravagant, impractical gorgeousness. Characters speak in weird, sententious epigrams; every gesture is charged with significance. The plot is contrived to the point of amiable silliness. As in a B movie, Laila can't quit her job as a prostitute without forfeiting her life. But she can no longer bear to sell her body after feeling the hands of a man she loves, so she resolves to murder her pimp. The hero gallantly resolves to bump him off on her behalf without her knowledge, but a minor character winds up doing it instead as a gesture of thanks for the hero's kindness. Delicious, frivolous and occasionally ludicrous. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Erri de Luca
Erri de Luca was born in Naples in 1950 and lives near Rome today. He is the author of several novels, including God's Mountain (2003) and The Sea of Memory (1999). Michael F. Moore is a New York-based translator and scholar whose previous translations include God's Mountain, also by de Luca, and The Silence of the Body, by Guido Ceronetti. He is currently working on a new translation of The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni.