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Original Essays | July 22, 2014

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The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
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Recent History: A Novel

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Recent History: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When I was eleven years old, in April 1961, my father arrived at school one day to take me into the woods. It was half-day, Wednesday. I usually walked home for lunch but that day he was waiting beside the Fairlane, in the suit he wore to work, the only man among the group of older, nervous mothers who insisted on coming and walking their children home from school.

On the drive — unannounced, with a mysterious destination — he tapped the wheel and hummed an odd little song that let me know he was nervous. I tried to follow the song, but couldn't. My father was a small, secretive man, quiet, well-dressed. He was known in the family into which he had married, a large and clamorous Italian family (as he was Italian, himself), as one who habitually stood back from the passionate center of action. You can see even now, in the home movies that survive from those years (he never took them, my Uncle John did), how he stands aside from the others on the beach, hardly noticeable sometimes, smaller and more compact and less expansive than the other, heavier, laughing men. What those movies don't tell you, though, is how he spoke, and the power he wielded because of the way he spoke. Should we dig for clams? someone on the beach would shout, trying to draw one last drop from the day. No, he'd say, and point. The tide's coming in. The others would stand back

then, nod. How foolish they'd been.

That day, he'd brought sandwiches for us to eat, meatball; they were on the seat between us. By the time we were into the woods the submarine rolls had gone soggy, and the bag had a wet stain on the bottom. We had to park at the bottom of the hill where the road ended — the hill was adjacent to the old Girl Scout property, a large undeveloped tract in our town, which had been dominated once by a mill and watch factory, then, after these had closed, had managed to hold on to its population by becoming a

bedroom community for the city of Boston. There were still large wooded patches left, one or two farms. My father led me up the hill, as if following some sort of map that existed nowhere but in his head.

We found a rock — a large, flat boulder — that seemed to be what he was looking for, then ate the sandwiches. He still hadn't spoken. He held a napkin six inches under his chin, a formal gesture, so as to catch any of the drops of sauce. Then, finally, he leaned toward me. He nodded once, and his lips made a small, familiar pursing motion.

We're going to live here, Luca, he whispered.

He took another bite, then gestured, with his mouth full, across the ground in front of us. This, this is our lot.

My father's voice had a slight rasp to it, as though he were in fact tougher than he appeared. It mixed with what was subtle and educated about him, and it was one of the things — there were many others — that gave the effect of there being at least two of him, two things not fighting it out so much as living inside of him in some interesting kind of harmony.

That, over there, you see those sticks with the little orange flags? They mark out lots. Of course it's only trees now, but they're going to build a road up here. Everything you see . . . Here he hesitated again. They're going to blast away. The

Synopsis:

His parents' separation in 1962 changes everything for twelve-year-old Luca and his Italian-American family.

Synopsis:

When I was eleven years old, in April 1961, my father arrived at school one day to take me into the woods. It was half-day, Wednesday. I usually walked home for lunch but that day he was waiting beside the Fairlane, in the suit he wore to work, the only man among the group of older, nervous mothers who insisted on coming and walking their children home from school.

On the drive — unannounced, with a mysterious destination — he tapped the wheel and hummed an odd little song that let me know he was nervous. I tried to follow the song, but couldn't. My father was a small, secretive man, quiet, well-dressed. He was known in the family into which he had married, a large and clamorous Italian family (as he was Italian, himself), as one who habitually stood back from the passionate center of action. You can see even now, in the home movies that survive from those years (he never took them, my Uncle John did), how he stands aside from the others on the beach, hardly no

About the Author

The author of two novels and a short-story collection, Anthony Giardina has has two plays produced to critical acclaim at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, the Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage in Washington, and elsewhere. He has written for Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine.

Table of Contents

I live in Yonville — Days with Cecilia — The lake — Love, your parents — The cut of his jib — The secret life — The challenge of the poet — The second act — The films of Richard Egan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375506949
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Giardina, Anthony
Subject:
General
Subject:
Massachusetts
Subject:
Italian American families
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction-General
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
Husbands
Subject:
Men
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20010301
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
242

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage

Recent History: A Novel
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Product details 242 pages Random House - English 9780375506949 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , His parents' separation in 1962 changes everything for twelve-year-old Luca and his Italian-American family.
"Synopsis" by , When I was eleven years old, in April 1961, my father arrived at school one day to take me into the woods. It was half-day, Wednesday. I usually walked home for lunch but that day he was waiting beside the Fairlane, in the suit he wore to work, the only man among the group of older, nervous mothers who insisted on coming and walking their children home from school.

On the drive — unannounced, with a mysterious destination — he tapped the wheel and hummed an odd little song that let me know he was nervous. I tried to follow the song, but couldn't. My father was a small, secretive man, quiet, well-dressed. He was known in the family into which he had married, a large and clamorous Italian family (as he was Italian, himself), as one who habitually stood back from the passionate center of action. You can see even now, in the home movies that survive from those years (he never took them, my Uncle John did), how he stands aside from the others on the beach, hardly no

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