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Outsiders Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782067817
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782067818
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'A fine collection of short stories' Mark Sanderson, Sunday Telegraph. (Sunday Telegraph)

From the Back Cover

In Roberto Saviano's The Other Side of Death, a town in southern Italy is haunted by the war in Afghanistan. In Ferengi, Carlo Lucarelli explores how the actions of a maid become pivotal to the fate of an exploitative colonial family in Eritrea. Valeria Parrella's The Prize reminds us that revenge is a dish best served cold, while Piero Colaprico's Stairway C is a breathless Milanese crime novel in miniature. Grassroots writers' collective Wu Ming show how a cheese-maker can become a hero in American Parmesan, and in Another Kind of Solitude, Simona Vinci suggests that it is only when we are on the outside, or alone, that we find true freedom.

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Format: Paperback
"Outsiders" is a collection of six pieces of writing by Italian authors. The pieces have been collated from a supplement to an Italian daily newspaper supplement and six have been chosen around the theme of outsiders for translation into English. Thus, the pieces themselves were not written around this specific theme but have rather had this theme imposed on them in this collection. Since the outsider is often used in various forms by writers to observe the status quo, this is not a big leap of imagination.

There is a clear Italian theme here, both in the obvious nationality of the authors but also in the subject matter, which gives an interesting insight into the cultural view of the Italian writers. There are one of two issues that, in my opinion, let the collection down slightly but overall, it's a strong collection with one or two really terrific pieces of writing.

The stand out piece in the collection for me is by the intriguing writers' collective known as Wu Ming, which looks at an Italian academic's involvement in the rights of an American cheese manufacture to use the term Parmesan and particularly the designation "Parmigiano Reggiano" which leads him to some interesting discoveries. It's a story that could easily be extended to full novel form even though it works nicely as a short story here. Here the academic is an outsider both from the legal wrangles and as an Italian in America. It's a story that you could imagine David Mitchell having written.

Piero Colaprico's "Stairway C" is also a strong crime story set in the poor area of Milan. The suspects are those on the edge of society but it seems to me that Colaprico's intent is more to explore the ideas of destiny.
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Good holiday reading for my only second visit to Italy. Quirky but very enjoyable. Will like to follow up some of the authors other writings.
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