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All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays

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He would do better to come back behind the counter and weigh things on his little pair of scales again. That’s the most ‘major-league’ of Ginzburg’s works that I’ve read so far, and I think widely recognised as her masterpiece, or at least one of them. The war effort pursued in the armed forces by my maternal grandfather, and in the civil service by my paternal grandfather – a quaker, and therefore a ‘conchie’, or conscientious objector – and by both my grandmothers, who each had to sign the Official Secrets Act to perform their roles, was against a combination of an ideology and a group of nations in the form of the Axis powers. There’s a sense that Anna and her siblings despite living under the same roof in the first part of the novel essentially lead different lives, unaware of each other’s innermost thoughts or feelings.

By the war’s end, Natalia was in her late twenties, a widow with three young children and a debut novella under her belt. I think it will tick a lot of boxes for you – strong female characters, a focus on family and evolving relationships, the WW2 setting, and an evocative sense of place. All Our Yesterdays is very much a novel about family, but is told in its entirety with no dialogue, only reported speech.She was a plump girl, pale and indolent, dressed in a pleated skirt and a faded blue pullover, and not very tall for her fourteen years. The victors, on the other hand, were left, quite naturally, with a sense – for better or worse – that they very much did know how to take on the future. German soldiers occupied Italian towns and conscripted Italian men to work in German factories (where many of them died due to Allied bombing of the factories). Anna, Censo Rena, Ippolito, a senhora Maria, Emilio, Giustino, Giuma e Maschioma são apenas algumas das personagens desta obra que me prendeu do princípio ao fim, numa ânsia de saber mais, de conhecer o desfecho de cada cena, de ver quem morria e quem vivia, quem se transformava ou nem por isso.

Absolutely – Ginzburg would be a terrific next step, especially if you enjoyed Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet! Another singular feature of the novel is Ginzburg’s wry humour and deadpan wit as reflected in her striking prose style. My starting point was Ginzburg’s title: All Our Yesterdays is a direct translation of her ‘Tutti I Nostri Ieri’. Politics for Anna is no longer a daydream among the rose trees, but a question of supreme moral urgency. While one family derives its wealth from the town’s soap factory, the other is middle-class and relatively short of money, contrasting the fortunes of these neighbouring households.

Jaučiausi šiek tiek apgauta knygos anotacijos – skaitydama ją tikėjausi, kad kūrinys suksis apie Aną ir jos gyvenimą, nėštumą ir to nešamus klausimus, problemas ir nepatogumus karo akivaizdoje, bet gavau kai ką kito.

There are some lovely touches of dry humour throughout, as the author maintains a wry sense of detachment from life’s absurdities, despite the gravity of events. I hesitate to talk about the trajectory of Anna, the character who the reader follows as she navigates different worlds and different periods of her life because it would be spoilers. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of class-based stereotyping with the housekeepers until you mentioned it, but it’s a fair observation. Still, there’s a richness there, with various other characters weaving in and out of the narrative as their lives continue to change. Good to know you are reading Italian WWII books too, there are many aspects of the Italian perspective on this particular period that were unknown to me so it has made for fascinating reading.His mental equilibrium begins to be overturned: he finds he is the No 1 target for the German authorities, becomes more and more paranoid about informers, distrusts his lover and finally decides to flee to the safety of Argentina. Ginzburg’s work is concerned, it seems to me more than anything, with the distinction between what is right and what is wrong. A Polish Jew named Franz, a friend of Emanuele’s father, also makes his way to San Costanzo, further complicating the situation.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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