Lesser Islands

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UPC: 9781609458256
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Authors: Lorenza Pieri (Author), Peter DiGiovanni (Translator), Donatella Melucci (Translator), William Greer (Translator), Jenna Menta (Translator), Christopher Paniagua (Translator), Kira Ross (Translator)

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Europa Editions (February 21, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1609458257
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1609458256
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches

WINNER: Capalbio International PrizeCarlo Marincovich Prize2017 PEA Award

An absorbing family saga taking place over four decades and centered on the Tuscan island of Giglio—a seemingly idyllic place where the story of two sisters and the history of Italy meet in unexpected, transformative ways.

A tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean with fewer than a thousand inhabitants. An older sister, a combative mother, a hedonistic father, a grandmother who fought in the Resistance, a wild younger brother. These are the people and the place that Teresa—the younger daughter and narrator—tries to escape from, eager to find a place in the world that she can call her own.

But soon enough she’ll have to reckon with the island, with the bittersweet distance separating her from her beloved yet domineering sister, and with the long shadow of the darkest moments in Italian history. Guided by nostalgia for the long, bright summer that was her childhood, Teresa will have to confront her condition, perceived or real, as the “lesser” one—accepting herself and rediscovering what she thought she had to escape from.

Between a coming-of-age novel, a family saga, and a parable on the last forty years of Italian history, Lorenza Pieri’s novel is an intense and luminous book, in which language has the magnetic force of the stark, beautiful landscape that has inspired it.

“A luminous voice, of the likes of Elsa Morante and Elena Ferrante.”—Vanity Fair



Praise for Lesser Islands

“Lorenza Pieri’s book will remind readers of Elsa Morante’s Arturo's Island and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. But this is also different story, as poetic as it is exciting.”—Huffington Post (Italy)

“Flawless… One of the most beautiful novels of the year.”—la Repubblica

“An elegant novel filled with nostalgia for the beauty and remoteness of the Mediterranean.”—Il Futuro

Praise for The Garden of Monsters

“[It] succeeds as both a family saga and a tender Bildungsroman—a breadth of scope enabled by Pieri’s masterful storytelling.”—Financial Times

“A perfectly narrated family saga, in which the loves and conflicts of each individual are composed to form a complex, vivid mosaic of the human heart and its revolutions.”—Corriere della Sera

“This book confirms Lorenza Pieri as one of the great narrators of adolescence.”—La Repubblica

About the Author

Lorenza Pieri is an author, journalist, and translator. She grew up in Tuscany and spent long periods in Paris, Turin, and Rome, where she worked in publishing. She lived for eight years in Washington D.C., where she continued to write about politics and culture for a variety of outlets. Lesser Islands (Europa, 2023) was the winner of numerous prizes and has been translated into six languages. The Garden of Monsters (Europa, 2020) was a finalist for the Strega Prize. Pieri now lives in Milan.