Cover image for The lost father
The lost father
Warner, Marina, 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon and Schuster, [1988]

Format :

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shortlisted for the 1988 Booker Prize, this epic by the British author of In the Dark Wood and The Skating Party has all the ingredients for successful sales here. This multi-generational saga set in the south of Italy portrays a family altered irrevocably by its own myths. A fateful duel, a powerful patriarch and the binding affection among women are all presented in an ornate narrative that flows with rich descriptions. Anna, the narrator, tries to reconstruct the circumstances of her mother's life in New York and Italy, and the mysterious events surrounding the death of her grandfather, Davide Pittagora. Her daily routine in London, where she works in a small museum, contrasts with her imaginative re-creation of her family's violent history in a land torn by poverty and facism. Warner's style evokes the visual imagery of Bertolucci's films, while the heaviness of some of the emotion and drama seems more operatic. Readers should find this narrative both satisfying and nourishing, since its essential intelligence and quality of writing transcend the conventional family saga genre. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

``Like the needle her mother would burnish in a candle flame before probing for a splinter under her skin, memories of those days pierced her with sudden clarity'': so begins Warner's new novel (her most recent being The Skating Party , LJ 2/15/83). These first words are taken from heroine Anna's memoir-in-progress, and as Anna proceeds with her family's story, the clarified strains of her memory become the novel we are reading, weaving and interweaving like a grand symphonic score. Along the way Anna recalls her southern Italian great-grandparents, Nunzia and Luigi Pittagora; Anna's grandfather Davide, whose bullet wound was caused, family tradition goes, by a duel over the honor of his sister Rose; and Anna's mother Fantina and her two sisters, with whom Anna is now reminiscing. This is a family saga of rare depth and dimension. Highly recommended.-- Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.