The award-winning author reflects with lyricism and wit on themes ranging from the everyday to the tragic, from teaching children to life in Fascist Italy.
In this collection of her finest and best-known short essays, Natalia Ginzburg explores both the mundane details and inescapable catastrophes of personal life with the grace and wit that have assured her rightful place in the pantheon of classic mid-century authors. Whether she writes of the loss of a friend, Cesare Pavese; or what is inexpugnable of World War II; or the Abruzzi, where she and her first husband lived in forced residence under Fascist rule; or the importance of silence in our society; or her vocation as a writer; or even a pair of worn-out shoes, Ginzburg brings to her reflections the wisdom of a survivor and the spare, wry, and poetically resonant style her readers have come to recognize.
“A stunning tour de force, The Little Virtues is a credo of undaunted idealism.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Friendships, family life, all kinds of human concerns are subjects that Ginzburg’s lyricism makes unforgettable.” —Publishers Weekly
“These little virtues then, this little book, pack a tremendous punch. By loving life, Ginzburg suggests, by working with love and enthusiasm, by embracing the homeliest details of daily existence with astonishment and joy, we may legitimately hope to conquer—or at least break even against—the worldly and leaden forces of materialism and fear.” —Los Angeles Times
“The book that taught me what I want to teach my daughter.” —Belle Boggs, author of Mattaponi Queen