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The End

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The End Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant debut novel about a single day in 1953 as lived by six people at an ohio carnival

A small, incongruous man receives an excruciating piece of news. His son has died in a POW camp in Korea. It is August 15, 1953, the day of a tumultuous street carnival in Elephant Park, an Italian immigrant enclave in Ohio. The man is Rocco LaGrassa, and his many years of dogged labor, paternal devotion, and steadfast Christian faith are about to come to a crashing end. He is the first of many exquisitely drawn characters we meet that day, each of whom will come to their own conclusion.

 
The End follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, a jewelerdramatically into the heart of a crime that will twist all their lives. Against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, we at last return to August 15, 1953, and see everything Rocco sawand vastly morethrough the eyes of various characters in the crowds.

 
The End is the unforgettable debut of a singular new American novelist.
Salvatore Scibona's fiction has been published in The Threepenny Review, Best New American Voices 2004, and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize. This is his first book.
A National Book Award Finalist
 
A small, incongruous man receives an excruciating piece of news. His son has died in a POW camp in Korea. It is August 15, 1953, the day of a tumultuous street carnival in Elephant Park, an Italian immigrant enclave in Ohio. The man is Rocco LaGrassa, and his many years of dogged labor, paternal devotion, and steadfast Christian faith are about to come to a crashing end. He is the first of many exquisitely drawn characters we meet that day, each of whom will come to their own conclusion.
 
The End follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, a jewelerdramatically into the heartof a crime that will twist all their lives. Against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, we at last return to August 15, 1953, and see everything Rocco sawand vastly morethrough the eyes of various characters in the crowds.
"A masterful novel set amid racial upheaval in 1950s America during the flight of second-generation immigrants from their once-necessary ghettos. Full of wisdom, consequence, and grace, Salvatore Scibona's radiant debut brims with the promise of a remarkable literary career, of which The End is only the beginning."Annie Dillard
 
"Like no other contemporary writer, Salvatore Scibona is heir to Saul Bellow, Graham Greene, and Virginia Woolf, and his masterful novel stands as proof of it. In The End, all the 'beautiful caves' of the characters' pasts connect, and 'each comes to daylight at the present moment' in ways that leave one touched, surprised, and amazed."ZZ Packer
 
"The End is a throwback modernist novel. Scibona's subject is the meaning of place, time, consciousness, memory and, above all, language. Think not only Faulkner, but also T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce."Anne Trubek, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
 
"Engulfing. Entangled. Fate-laden. Flinty. Dry-eyed. Memento meets Augie March. Didion meets Hitchcock. Serpentine. Alien. American. Ohioan. McCarthyite (Cormac). Bellowed (Saul)."Esquire
 
"A well-crafted, unabashedly literary debut. Rocco LaGrassa is a baker. His wife and children have left him, but he doesn't understand that they're gone for good. When he learns that his son, a soldier, has died in Korea, he's quite certain that there's been a mistake. Rocco's confusion is emblematic of the existential ambiguity that defines this novel's characters. All of them are displaced, living somewhere between the places they've left behindor that their parents have left behindand the Ohio neighborhood where they've settled. The story revolves around the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1953. Scibona captures the uneasy juxtaposition of the immigrant experience with an incisive description of the festival crowds: 'Europe was happening, right here, and it didn't fit. This wasn't the continent of the group . . . This was the country of the particular person.' Scibona's prose contains the off-kilter rhythm and startling flourishes of imperfectly acquired English spoken by immigrants, and his narrative is laced with the overheard fragments-revelatory in their incomprehensibility-that James Joyce called 'epiphanies.' These shards of conversation turn sinister as the novel progresses, as the Italian inhabitants of Ohio enclave Elephant Park try to justify their own hostility when a handful of African-Americans try to take part in their celebration. As Scibona moves back-and-forth in time, and shifts perspective from one carefully drawn character to another, he slowly puts together a portrait of a community in transition. A demanding but rewarding novel."Kirkus Reviews
 
"The Italian immigrants in this exceptional debut collide and collapse in a polyphonic narrative that is part novel, part epic prose poem spanning the first half of the 20th century . . . The novel's radiant beginning . . . is emblematic of both Scibona's calibrated precision and the storys potent humanity. This ravenous prose offers its share of challenges, but Scibonas portrayal of the lost world of Elephant Park is a literary tour de force."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

"The Italian immigrants in this exceptional debut collide and collapse in a polyphonic narrative that is part novel, part epic prose poem spanning the first half of the 20th century. Costanza Marini, a Cleveland widow who performs abortions of such a high grade that clinicians come take stock of her methods, has decided, among other aspirations, to save Lina, her young seamstress protégée and heiress, from spinsterhood. Intersecting sporadically with the machinations of Mrs. Marini during the sweltering feast of the Assumption is Rocco, the baker of the Italian community of Elephant Park, who is poised to leave his parochial Midwestern enclave for the first time to seek out his lost family. In doing so, he must face America and eventually ends up adrift near the Canadian border while looking for 'the New Jersey.' Rocco, whose fate, regrettably, is never explicated, inhabits (and narrates) the novel's radiant beginning and is emblematic of both Scibona's calibrated precision and the story's potent humanity. This ravenous prose offers its share of challenges, but Scibona's portrayal of the lost world of Elephant Park is a literary tour de force." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Scibona follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, and a jeweler into the heart of a crime that will twist all their lives--against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, set in 1953.

Synopsis:

A brilliant debut novel about a single day in 1953 as lived by six people at an Ohio carnival

A small, incongruous man receives an excruciating piece of news. His son has died in a POW camp in Korea. It is August 15, 1953, the day of a tumultuous street carnival in Elephant Park, an Italian immigrant enclave in Ohio. The man is Rocco LaGrassa, and his many years of dogged labor, paternal devotion, and steadfast Christian faith are about to come to a crashing end. He is the first of many exquisitely drawn characters we meet that day, each of whom will come to their own conclusion.

 
The End by Salvatore Scibona follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, a jeweler—dramatically into the heart of a crime that will twist all their lives. Against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, we at last return to August 15, 1953, and see everything Rocco saw—and vastly more—through the eyes of various characters in the crowds.

 
The End is the unforgettable debut of a singular new American novelist.

About the Author

Salvatore Scibonas fiction has been published in The Threepenny Review and the Pushcart Prize anthology. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he is the writing coordinator at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555974985
Author:
Scibona, Salvatore
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General
Subject:
Italian americans
Subject:
Italian American families
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Ohio
Subject:
Nineteen fifties.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The End New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.25 Backorder
Product details 320 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555974985 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The Italian immigrants in this exceptional debut collide and collapse in a polyphonic narrative that is part novel, part epic prose poem spanning the first half of the 20th century. Costanza Marini, a Cleveland widow who performs abortions of such a high grade that clinicians come take stock of her methods, has decided, among other aspirations, to save Lina, her young seamstress protégée and heiress, from spinsterhood. Intersecting sporadically with the machinations of Mrs. Marini during the sweltering feast of the Assumption is Rocco, the baker of the Italian community of Elephant Park, who is poised to leave his parochial Midwestern enclave for the first time to seek out his lost family. In doing so, he must face America and eventually ends up adrift near the Canadian border while looking for 'the New Jersey.' Rocco, whose fate, regrettably, is never explicated, inhabits (and narrates) the novel's radiant beginning and is emblematic of both Scibona's calibrated precision and the story's potent humanity. This ravenous prose offers its share of challenges, but Scibona's portrayal of the lost world of Elephant Park is a literary tour de force." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Scibona follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, and a jeweler into the heart of a crime that will twist all their lives--against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, set in 1953.
"Synopsis" by ,
A brilliant debut novel about a single day in 1953 as lived by six people at an Ohio carnival

A small, incongruous man receives an excruciating piece of news. His son has died in a POW camp in Korea. It is August 15, 1953, the day of a tumultuous street carnival in Elephant Park, an Italian immigrant enclave in Ohio. The man is Rocco LaGrassa, and his many years of dogged labor, paternal devotion, and steadfast Christian faith are about to come to a crashing end. He is the first of many exquisitely drawn characters we meet that day, each of whom will come to their own conclusion.

 
The End by Salvatore Scibona follows an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy, a jeweler—dramatically into the heart of a crime that will twist all their lives. Against a background of immigration, broken loyalties, and racial hostility, we at last return to August 15, 1953, and see everything Rocco saw—and vastly more—through the eyes of various characters in the crowds.

 
The End is the unforgettable debut of a singular new American novelist.

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