THE BRIGAND by Gluseppe Berto


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The author of The Sky to Red, which received considerable critical attention in 1948 as a touching portrait of adolescents following a downward path in a bombed city in Northern Italy, has turned to the Sicily of the same period for his new novel. This is a fictionalized account of the late, legendary bandit-hero, Salvatore Guiliano, and the degrading conditions of life on the island which swept him to notoriety and an early death. The protagonist is Michele Rende, an ex-soldier who has seen the North and its communities which threw into focus the evils of absentee landlordism in the South. The story of Michele's return from Africa, his betrayal by a former mistress, a prison term and release to fight in the North is told by Mino, the teen-age brother of Michele's sweetheart. Nino sympathetically aids Michele in his efforts to become an honest farmer, sees him lead an abortive march on the fallow land of an absent latifondsta when the village is starving, and he is finally driven to the mountains where with Nino's sister he meets a quick death. A sustained narrative with a background which recalls Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1951
Publisher: New Directions