The Sadness of Antonioni

By Frank Lentricchia
(State University of New York Press, Paperback, 9781438439129, 224pp.)

Publication Date: November 2011

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Part Mafia murder mystery, part novel of ideas, but most of all a love story, The Sadness of Antonioni follows Hank Morelli, a young assistant professor of film who is obsessed with Antonioni s L Avventura. As he embarks on an unlikely romance with a Wendy s cashier, he is also drawn into the mystery of his grandfather s underworld connections and tempted by his department chair and his department chair s mysterious girlfriend, Nadia, to take part in a monstrous film project they are planning. Haunted throughout by the terror of time s raw present without exit, The Sadness of Antonioni is an American adventure in the Antonioni vein visually rich and emotionally mysterious in which an unlikely young couple navigates the difficult waters of their relationship, each suffering the remnants of a violent past that must be resolved if they hope to stay together. Heartrending and unsparing, yet with a persistent comic vein, this is Frank Lentricchia s seventh and most ambitious and disturbing novel to date."

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