Set in Asiago, in the pre-Alps of Italy’s Veneto region, Giacomo's Seasons tells the story of a mountain people who must adjust to life following the devastation of World War I. Elizabeth Harris' English-language translation of the novel won the 2013 Translation Prize from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Culture.
The story follows the young protagonist Giacomo through seasons and years as he, his family, and his entire community struggle to survive, salvaging scrap weaponry from former battlefields in the hills around them.
Some must leave their homes in search of work abroad, splitting up families and threatening the mountain community with slow disintegration. They must also adjust to the ominous growth of fascism and, finally, face yet another war. Written with clarity and deceptively simple language, this is simultaneously a story of great hardship and a loving portrayal of a vanishing way of life of an ancient people tied closely to the natural world.
Read an interview with translator Elizabeth Harris here.
Paperback: 148 pages