THE SKIN by Curzio Malaparte


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A frightening, harrowing and ultimately very disturbing picture of the ""liberated"" people of Italy and their liberator-conquerors, the Americans, during the Allied invasion when the author acted as a liaison officer. While on the surface Malaparte reveals the sordid and the sensational refinements in prostitution, human traffic, homosexuality in which a conquered people- whose country is their skin- engage, this is only the indirect reflection of a more deadly struggle for survival in which the spiritual degradation is the last terminus on the road down. Malaparte's equivocal feeling toward the Americans is evident in his individual friendships, his gibes, and his final words- ""It is a shameful thing to win a war"". There is more poison than pity, more outrage than thought, but he raises a powerful voice against the death of the soul which is final and inevitable in the face of so-called subjugation. The Skin has had a phenomenal sale in many countries abroad and in South America, and in the bright glare of its sensationalism, the nightshade of its personal and philosophic despair- it may sear its way to popular success. A book which no American will like, but many Americans may read- so keep a wide and wary eye on its initial press and response.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1952
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin