Class (Hardcover)

By Francesco Pacifico

Melville House, 9781612195933, 352pp.

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

List Price: 25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Plainly the work of a forceful and ambitious writer... (Class) is like little else I’ve read in recent years.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

The breakout novel by Francesco Pacifico, one of Italy’s most acclaimed writers, hailed by Dana Spiotta as “brilliantly funny and weirdly subversive”

Ludovica and Lorenzo live in Rome. She works in her family’s bookstore, and he’s a filmmaker—or, rather, a “filmmaker”: so far, all he’s produced is one pretentious short film that even his friends don’t take seriously. But somehow, he gets a scholarship to Columbia University, and the couple decide to head to New York—specifically, to Williamsburg: the promised land.
They soon fall in with a group of Italian expats—all of them with artistic ambitions and the family money to support those ambitions indefinitely. There’s Nicolino, the playboy; Marcello, the aspiring rapper; Sergio, the literary scout; and a handful of others. These languidly ambitious men and women will come together and fall apart, but can they escape their fates? Can anyone?
In Class, Francesco Pacifico gives a grand, subversive, formally ambitious social novel that bridges Italy and America, high and low, money and art. A novel that channels Virginia Woolf and Kanye West, Henry Miller and Lil’ Wayne, Class is an unforgettable, mordantly funny account of Italians chasing the American dream.

About the Author

Francesco Pacifico was born in Rome in 1977. He is the author of The Story of My Purity and has translated Will Eisner, Dave Eggers, Henry Miller, Ray Charles, and Dana Spiotta. His work has appeared in n+1, McSweeney's, and the White Review, among other publications.

Praise For Class

“As bitter and aggressive as a glass of Fernet Branca....Plainly the work of a forceful and ambitious features a strong and authentic voice, and is like little else I’ve read in recent years.” —Dwight Garner, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“The more I thought about this novel and its dark concerns, I began to realize how Pacifico’s look so beautifully matches his writing’s contradictions...In his novels...the apparently comical surface will suddenly rupture, revealing its ethical precision, its melancholy soul.” —Adam Thirlwell, PARIS REVIEW DAILY

“[In Class,] Francesco Pacifico turns his attention to Italy’s other major religion: ‘Cool.’ On the trail of Italian hipsters from Rome to Williamsburg, Class is both savage and tender, like Antonioni’s camera…” —Marco Roth, author of The Scientists

"Pacifico’s ability to slyly resuscitate the comedy of manners while deploying a Faulknerian multiple-consciousness narrator—all while thoroughly inhabiting the present moment of conspicuous consumption—has expanded the bounds of contemporary fiction." PASTE MAGAZINE

Praise for The Story of My Purity
“Francesco Pacifico is a brilliantly funny and weirdly subversive writer. The Story of My Purity manages to be both absurd and sincere...A joy to read.” —Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others
“Insanely funny and terrifically offensive, Francesco Pacifico’s novel fell on my head like a bowling ball and knocked me the hell out. Among many other things, it’s a great updating of Roman life . . . A modern Italian classic.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Francesco Pacifico revives the Italian comic novel. The writing is ribald but never vulgar, extremely smart about friendship and sex but without pretension. You’ll laugh aloud, want to hide your blushing face in the pillow, and argue with the author, all at once.” —Marco Roth, author of The Scientists