The House of Scorta
By Laurent Gaude
(MacAdam Cage, Hardcover, 9781596921597, 250pp.)
Publication Date: April 25, 2006
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An epic tale of love, lies, and a family’s disgrace in the unforgiving south of Italy.
After receiving stunning critical acclaim and France’s most prestigious literary award, the Goncourt Prize, Laurent Gaudé’s The House of Scorta (published in France as Le Soleil des Scorta) has sold more than 400,000 copies. Spanning five generations in a small village in southern Italy, Gaudé’s novel is laced with infamous crimes, forsaken loves, and lifelong secrets.
The saga of the Scortas opens in 1870 with Rocco Scorta Mascalzone, the bastard product of a rape and a notorious scoundrel whose legacy the family is forced to confront. While their lineage seems doomed to struggle, the Scortas are blessed with an imposing pride and a relentless faith in their own power. Besides a little tobacco shop they manage to open with their years of savings, their wealth all but lies in their memories and their collective belief in the pursuit of happiness.
Gaudé’s omniscient, linear narrative is interwoven with the recollections of the old Carmela as she delivers her last confession to the family priest, exposing the family’s deep-buried secret.
Laurent Gaudé’s first novel, The Death of an Ancient King, was published in almost twenty countries. Also an accomplished playwright, Gaudé found inspiration for The House of Scorta in his wife’s family story and through his extensive travels in Italy.
Praise for Laurent Gaudé
“Gaudé writes in a courtly language with an elegiac, almost hypnotic rhythm. . . . Iconoclasts, schoolchildren included, will probably love it.”
“Gaudé writes in an elegiac, lyrical style, the simplicity of the prose matching the timelessness of his message.”
–Sunday Business Post