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A Family Lexicon

A Family Lexicon Cover

A Family Lexicon

By Natalia Ginzburg; Jenny McPhee (Translator); Peg Boyers (Introduction by)

New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590178386, 224pp.

Publication Date: February 16, 2016

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Description
A masterpiece of European literature that blends family memoir and fiction
Natalia Ginzburg begins A Family Lexicon with an unusual disclaimer: -The places, events and people are all real. I have invented nothing. Every time that I have found myself inventing something in accordance with my old habits as a novelist, I have felt impelled at once to destroy everything thus invented.- In A Family Lexicon fiction is under the control of fact, and the result is a novel that re creates the small world of a family enduring some of the most difficult years of the twentieth century--spanning the period from the rise of Mussolini through World War II, in which Ginzburg's husband fought for the resistance and was killed by the Nazis--with passionate objectivity. Every family has its store of phrases and sayings by which it maintains its sense both of what it means to be a family and of what sets it apart as one particular family. This lexicon, these shared understandings, these stories, not by any means always to be relied on and sometimes not a little ridiculous, lie at the heart of a great novel about family and history.
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