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The Little Virtues
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As far as the education of children is concerned, states Natalia Ginzburg in this collection of her finest and best-known short essays, I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but a love of one s neighbor and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know. 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 glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg s magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart. The New York Times Book Review"
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About the Author

Natalia Ginzburg Natalia Ginzburg was born in Palermo, Italy in 1916. She was an Italian author whose work explored family relationships, politics during and after the Fascist years and World War II, and philosophy. She wrote novels, short stories and essays, for which she received the Strega Prize and Bagutta Prize. Modest and intensely reserved, Ginzburg never shied away from the traumas of history, whether writing about the Turin of her childhood, the Abruzzi countryside or contemporary Rome--all the while approaching those traumas only indirectly, through the mundane details and catastrophes of personal life. Most of her works were also translated into English and published in the United Kingdom and United States. She wrote acclaimed translations of both Proust and Flaubert into Italian. She died in Rome in 1991.

Reviews

Editorial Reviews "There is one book...which has meant more to me than any other: "The Little Virtues," by the Italian novelist, essayist, playwright, short-story writer, translator, and political activist Natalia Ginzburg." - The New Yorker Sept. 2016 "The book that taught me what I want to teach my daughter." --Belle Boggs "A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart." -- The New York Times Book Review "Considered among the best writers in contemporary Italy, Ginzburg should appeal to a wide American audience with this collection of essays" - 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." - LA Times "She is the author of six works of fiction, several collections of essays, a play ('I Married You for the Fun of It') that has been produced in Italy, France and England, and a critical biography of the family of the 19th-century novelist Allesandro Manzoni, which Mary McCarthy called an 'original and engrossing work.'" - New York Times "Clarity, precision and wit mark the work of Natalia Ginzburg." Editorial Reviews "There is one book...which has meant more to me than any other: "The Little Virtues," by the Italian novelist, essayist, playwright, short-story writer, translator, and political activist Natalia Ginzburg." - The New Yorker Sept. 2016 "The book that taught me what I want to teach my daughter." --Belle Boggs "A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart." -- The New York Times Book Review "Considered among the best writers in contemporary Italy, Ginzburg should appeal to a wide American audience with this collection of essays" - 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." - LA Times "She is the author of six works of fiction, several collections of essays, a play ('I Married You for the Fun of It') that has been produced in Italy, France and England, and a critical biography of the family of the 19th-century novelist Allesandro Manzoni, which Mary McCarthy called an 'original and engrossing work.'" - New York Times "Clarity, precision and wit mark the work of Natalia Ginzburg."

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