Amanda Prantera

Amanda Prantera is an English novelist who, like Natalia Ginzburg, lives in Rome. She writes in this issue about Primo Levi, who lives in Turin, the city from which Ginzburg (née Levi) originally came. This is an issue which has something to say about the ethos of Italian Jewry, and in which Nicholas Spice writes about Ginzburg and Prantera.

Aaron, Gabriel and Bonaparte

Amanda Prantera, 19 December 1985

Once in an unguarded moment when I was trying to illustrate the unbounded nature of human vanity, I shamefacedly admitted to my daughter that I, too, outwardly so cool-headed and realistic about my slender talents, cherished in the back of my mind a dream of being awarded the Nobel Prize. I could see myself, I confessed, walking up an aisle of red plush carpet, flanked by applauding onlookers and heralded by fanfares, dressed in my best, blushing becomingly as I prepared to receive this the highest accolade currently available in the profession. Strange to say, and pathetic though I must have sounded, my daughter did not scoff at me in the least. ‘There’s nothing wrong in that,’ she said encouragingly, patting my arm. ‘I know exactly what you mean. You’re right. Why not? It would be wonderful’ – here she stopped and became thoughtful – ‘only what do you suppose they could award it to you for?’’

She shall be nameless: Marlen Haushofer

Nicholas Spice, 18 December 2014

Among​ the leading Austrian writers of the postwar period, Marlen Haushofer is an unobtrusive presence. Where Bachmann and Bernhard, Handke and Jelinek all in their time achieved international...

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Missing Pieces

Patrick Parrinder, 9 May 1991

In 1830 the prophet John Wroe asked his congregation of Christian Israelites in Ashton-under-Lyne for seven virgins to serve in his household. The Israelites had already built a Sanctuary and...

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Poets and Pretenders

John Sutherland, 2 April 1987

James Atlas’s The Great Pretender is a first novel. But Atlas has some prior fame as the author of a powerful biography of Delmore Schwartz, America’s poète maudit who died...

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Nicholas Spice, 19 December 1985

‘Il Figlio dell’Uomo’, ‘The Son of Man’, an essay by Natalia Ginzburg written in 1946 for the paper Unita, begins: ‘There has been a war and people have seen...

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