Communism in late 30s Moscow, as reported by the inimitable Malaparte--now in English for the first time.
Curzio Malaparte (pseudonym of Kurt Eric Suckert, 1898-1957) was born in Prato, Italy, and served in World War I. An early supporter of the Italian Fascist movement and a prolific journalist, Malaparte soon established himself as an outspoken public figure. In 1931 he incurred Mussolini's displeasure by publishing a how-to manual entitled Technique of the Coup-d'Etat, which led to his arrest and a brief term in prison. During World War II Malaparte worked as a correspondent, for much of the time on the eastern front, and this experience provided the basis for his two most famous books, Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949), both available as NYRB Classics. His political sympathies veered to the left after the war. He continued to write, while also involving himself in the theater and the cinema. Jenny McPhee is a translator and the author of the novels The Center of Things, No Ordinary Matter, and A Man of No Moon. She translated Natalia Ginzburg's Family Lexicon from the Italian for NYRB Classics. McPhee is the director of the Center of Applied Liberal Arts at New York University and lives in New York.
"Malaparte may just be the original postmodernist, at least as far as genre-crossing is concerned...A head-swirling kaleidoscope that, though fictional, is never for a moment fictitious." --Kirkus Review "Malaparte enlarged the art of fiction in more perverse, inventive, and darkly liberating ways than one would imagine possible, long before novelists like Philip Roth, Robert Coover, and E. L. Doctorow began using their own and other people's histories as Play-Doh." --Gary Indiana "Surreal, disenchanted, on the edge of amoral, Malaparte broke literary ground for writers from Ryszard Kapuscinski to Joseph Heller." --Frederika Randall, The Wall Street Journal "A scrupulous reporter? Probably not. One of the most remarkable writers of the 20twentieth century? Certainly." --Ian Buruma